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Q: How do you describe a schizophrenic Zen Buddhist?
A: A man who is at two with the universe
A young woman asked Suzuki Roshi after a talk, "Roshi (Venerable Teacher), sometimes when I'm trying to decide what I should do, I ask myself, 'In this case, what would Roshi do?' Should I continue that practice?"
Roshi answered, "Then should I also ask myself, 'What would Roshi do?'"
Suzuki Roshi washed his feet on the doorstep after working in the garden.
His attendant, who was standing just inside the door, handed him a towel.
She then reached down and pinched one of his toes.
"That is one of the powers of Buddha," he said.
"To see what someone needs and give it to them."
A student once asked Zen teacher Steve Allen,
"If you were given a wish-fulfilling jewel, what would you wish for?"
"To stop wishing," replied Allen.
A Zen master once said to me, "Do the opposite of whatever I tell you."
So I didn't.
When John Daido Loori was a monk at the Los Angeles Zen Center, he remarked one day to Maezumi Roshi: " I have resolved the question of life and death."
"Are you sure?" Maezumi asked.
"Are you really sure?:
Absolutely," Loori answered.
With that, Maezumi threw himself violently upon Loori and began to strangle him. Gasping for breath, Loori struggled to escape, but to no avail. Finally he swung back his fist and struck his teacher, knocking him aside.
Maezumi rose to his feet and brushed himself off. "Resolved the question of life and death, eh?" he laughed, and walked off.
Later, still bearing the marks of his teacher's fingers on his throat, Loori passed a senior monk, Genpo Sensei.
On seeing the bruises, Genpo did a double take. "Told Roshi you'd resolved the question of life and death, did you?" he said and strode away laughing.
Q: How much "ego" do you need?
A: Just enough so that you don't step in front of a bus.
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