The Daily Dharma – June 5, 2021

Serenity by Elli Sorensen

The Moon Cannot Be Stolen

Ryokan, a Zen master, lived the simplest kind of life in a little hut at the foot of a mountain. One evening a thief visited the hut only to discover there was nothing in it to steal.

Ryokan returned and caught him. “You may have come a long way to visit me,” he told the prowler,” and you should not return empty-handed. Please take my clothes as a gift.”

The thief was bewildered. He took the clothes and slunk away.

Ryokan sat naked, watching the moon. “Poor fellow,” he mused. “I wish I could give him this beautiful moon.”

from 101 Zen Stories
as printed in Zen Flesh, Zen Bones