Zen Story: Full Awareness

After a decade of apprenticeship, Tenno was promoted to the rank of a Zen teacher. On a beautiful rainy day, he went to visit the famous master Nan-in. When he walked in, the master was sitting in quiet meditation. His eyes opened and he surveyed Tenno calmly.

“Did you leave your wooden clogs and umbrella on the porch?” he asked.

“Yes,” replied Tenno.

“Tell me,” the master continued, “did you place your umbrella to the left of your shoes, or to the right?”

Tenno did not know the answer, and realized that he had not yet attained full awareness. So he became Nan-in’s apprentice and studied under him for ten more years.


How aware are you about yourself right now? We don’t think much about the small things we do every day – car keys, cell phone, wallet.. Also, the people around us – are we really thinking about those who are with us every single day? Take a moment to step back and appreciate the simple things in life. Tell your folks how much they mean to you.

♦ Appreciate the now ♦

The original story can be found in: Zen Stories To Tell Your Neighbors.


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