Zen Story – “Is that so?”…

A beautiful story has come in to my awareness the past couple of ways. The story is about Zen Master Hakuin and often referred to as “Is that so?”. The Zen Master lived in a town in Japan and was held in high regard by many people for his teachings. Then one day a girl in the village became pregnant. Her parents were not very happy and wanted to know who the father was. The daughter indicated that Hakuin was the father. The parents went to the Zen Master to let him know and he replied “Is that so?”. Subsequently, he lost his reputation as it spread throughout the town. This did not trouble him.

When the child was born, the parents brought the child to Hakuin and told him to look after him. The Zen Master took loving care of the child and a year later the mother of the child could not take it any longer and told the truth to her parents. The parents went to Hakuin and confessed that he was not the father. “Is that so?” is how he responded and handed the baby over to them. 

What an amazing story and it was exactly what I needed to hear. I have been struggling a little with my transitioning from full-time employment to being self-employed. This story reminded me to continue to respond with awareness, openness and equanimity (a deep acceptance of the present moment). Sometimes this is easier said than done, however I will continue to accept what is. What an experience life is!

What does this story remind you of?


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