101 Zen Stories: Is That So?

Photo Credit: Annie Basile

In the early 18th century, there lived a Japanese zen master known as Hakuin Ekaku (白隠 慧鶴). He was well-respected by his neighbours, for he lived a pure life.

Amongst his neighbours, lived a beautiful Japanese girl whose parents owned a food store. Abruptly, her parents discovered that she was in a delicate condition (with a child) which, evidently, displeased her parents. She would not confess who the man was, but after persistent badgering named Hakuin. The infuriated parents went to the master’s place. ‘Is that so?’ was all he would say.

Following the event, Hakuin’s reputation suffered to a great extent, but that did not trouble him even slightly. Upon its birth, the child was brought by the girl’s parents to Hakuin, who accepted the child politely and took great care of it. He would obtain by Takuhatsu (托鉢, asking for alm), every essential thing the little one needed for its development.

Past a year, the girl-mother could no longer refrain herself from telling the truth and confessed to her parents that the real father of the child was a young man who worked at a fishmarket. The parents were taken aback upon listening the truth and went to Hakuin seeking his forgiveness and to get the child back. Once again, he obliged. In yielding the child, all he said was: ‘Is that so?’


Letter to the Readers:
Grateful to all my followers for making it 100+. Meanwhile I have been fortunate enough to follow your blogs as well, and I am learning a lot. Have been receiving suggestions to increase frequency of posting. I am thankful though unfortunate that I would not be able to follow them due to my study schedule. Keep reading, writing and Lord bless us all!

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