Wisdom Stories for Inspired Life Change


I love wisdom stories for the life change they bring. Wise tales of ancient wisdom have played a large part in my own evolutionary pathways and they're brought here so that they may become part of yours too.

With wisdom by your side, or should I say deep inside, you're enriched and truly empowered. Inspirational stories that will motivate life change are a true and joyful companion to join you on your way.

The Wisdom Story of the Samurai Warrior and Zen Master

"The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven."

~John Milton

There is an old samurai tale, told in the ancient Japanese wisdom traditions, that illustrates the raw essence of gratitude.

A young Samurai was roaming the countryside in search of a famous Zen master. It was well known at the time that samurai would seek instruction from Zen masters to gain a better understanding of themselves and the workings of their mind. This would help them improve their fighting skills and live honorably.

After searching far and wide the samurai finally located the Zen master living deep in the woods. "Please teach me the ways of heaven and hell", the samurai requested of the Zen master.

The old master took one look at the samurai and burst out laughing, "Look at you!" he exclaimed. "You call yourself a samurai? Look at that belly of yours...you can't even control your own appetite, and you want to learn the ways of heaven and hell...hah, what a joke!"

The samurai was besides himself with embarrassment that quickly turned into anger and then into full blown rage. His face turned red and his hand reached for his sword. Zen master or not, this man was going to pay for his insult, "I'm going to cut you down!", he announced while raising the sword above his head.

The Zen master turned to the samurai and said in a calm and measured voice, "That's hell." The samurai, instantly recognizing the error in his judgement and the wisdom and kindness in the Zen masters' instruction, had a complete change of heart. He fell to his knees in gratitude and appreciation.

"And that's heaven", said the master.

For more on this wisdom tale visit here.

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The Wisdom Story of the Pros*itu*e and the Monk

"Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall."

~William Shakespeare

In an old city in ancient Japan there once lived a pros*itu*e and a monk. They didn't know each other. They weren't even acquaintances. Yet each of them were deeply influenced by the other. Their lives were closely connected.

Every evening as the pros*itu*e left her home on the way to earning a nights wage she would pass by the Buddhist temple where this monk lived. And every evening the young monk would be seated outside in the temple garden doing meditation.

As the young pros*itu*e passed by the temple she would see the monk seated in meditation and would think to herself, "What an amazing young man. What a noble life he is leading. Such a pure existence, untainted by the worries and concerns of this world. How rare and how wonderful!"

These thoughts sustained the young woman and gave her strength to endure her life. Just to know that someone was leading such a pure life gave her both hope and encouragement, even though she knew that such purity could never be her own. She always felt blessed just walking by the temple and being in the presence of such sacred energy.

The monk, although supposedly seated in deep meditation couldn't help but notice the woman as well. Every evening as the young woman passed by the temple, the monk would become distracted and think to himself, "What an immoral woman. How could she make a living doing what she does? Selling her body - how low can a person go! Where is her self respect and dignity?! What a wasted life. She would be better off dead!"

Quite a telling inspirational story. For more on this wise tale visit here.

The Wisdom Story of Emptying Your Cup

"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities; but in the expert's there are few."

~Shunryu Suzuki "Zen Mind - Beginner's Mind"

A Zen scholar sought out a particular Zen Master in order to obtain instruction from him. After a long search, he found the hut where the Master lived and requested entry. The prospective apprentice was invited in for a cup of tea.

The Zen Master and his guest sat down together at a small table and the master asked him what he knew about Zen. The guest started talking and just never stopped. Apparently his knowledge of Zen was very broad. He knew many Zen stories, he was familiar with the teachings of different Zen masters and lineages and he could elaborate on the principles and finer points of Zen philosophy in great detail. Obviously he was quite an accomplished Zen scholar.

At a certain point during this decidedly one-sided 'conversation', the Zen Master started pouring his guest a cup of tea. The tea filled the cup to the brim, but the Zen Master continued pouring and the tea started spilling all over the table. The guest jumped up from his seat, 'Stop pouring, stop pouring! Can't you see the cup is full - it can't take any more tea!'

The Zen master stopped pouring and looked the young Zen scholar squarely in the eye. 'Just as this cup of tea is full and cannot take any more tea, so your mind is full of Zen and cannot take any more Zen. I cannot teach you a thing. If you truly want to learn, you must first empty your cup. You must empty your mind of everything you think you know about Zen. That's my condition for taking you on as a student.'

For more visit Japanese wisdom.

The Wisdom Story of the Two Wolves

"Attitude is a little thing, that makes a big difference."

~Winston Churchill

An old chief sat by the fire with his two young grandsons and told them the following tale ...

"There is a good wolf and a bad wolf living inside each of us. The good wolf is love, compassion, courage, generosity, fortitude, discipline, laughter, good works and every other worthy virtue that a human being is capable of. The bad wolf is anger, hatred, fear, laziness, jealousy, envy, greed, sloth and every other unworthy vice that a human being is capable of.

In each and every one of us, these two wolves are engaged in a fierce battle."

At this point the chief paused, retreating into a long silence.

"Which wolf wins?!", the grandsons now at the edge of their seats were dying to know.

"You want to know which wolf wins? Well, it's the one you feed of course", said the chief as a matter of fact.

The Wisdom Story of the Chicken and the Eagle

"Above all, don't lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point where he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and others. And having no respect he ceases to love."

~Fyodor Dostoyevsky

There once lived a young Eagle who thought he was a chicken. As fate would have it, this Eagle was raised in a chicken coop from a very young age, where he lived alongside his chicken brothers and sisters. The young Eagle knew himself to be a chicken, no different from the rest of the chickens inhabiting the coop.

Nobody ever told him anything about Eagles and everyone treated him as one of their own. The young Eagle grew up with a whole vocabulary of inner talk that was 'chicken like'. He 'clucked' and 'pecked' to the best of his ability. He thought chicken thoughts, he developed chicken habits and he lived chicken dreams. As the years went by the Eagle grew older, yet his thoughts - the world of his inner self talk - stayed pretty much the same.

One day the Eagle was out in the yard foraging for seeds alongside his chicken brothers and sisters. Suddenly something caught the Eagle's attention. Out of the corner of his eye he could see something flying in the sky, high above the ground. Living inside the coop for most of his life, it was the first time the Eagle had seen such a magnificient animal.

Alerting a nearby chicken to this awe-inspiring sight the Eagle asked, 'Do you see that?! What an absolutely magnificient creature! Do you know what it is?' The Eagle's chicken brother said, 'Yeah, that is an Eagle. He is the majestic king of the skies. You need not concern yourself with Eagles. You and I are chickens and could never soar with the Eagles. The sooner you get back to pecking for seeds the better.'

The Eagle reluctantly turned away from the skies to resume his foraging. He never saw another one of his kind again. Yet, for the rest of his life, he couldn't shake the feeling that there was something about that Eagle he saw that day.

For more on this wise tale visit here.

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