Sunday, September 30, 2007

An old zen story

The Zen master Hakuin was praised by his neighbors as one living a pure life.

A beautiful girl whose parents owned a grocery store lived near him.

Suddenly, without any warning, her parents discovered she was with child.

This angered her parents greatly. She would not confess who the man was, but after much harassment at last named Hakuin.

In great anger the parents went to the master.

"Is that so?" was his response.

The parents were so incensed they soon began talking about it to the rest of their neighbors and community.

"Is that so?" was all he would say.

The neighbors began to pelt him with vegetables and dirt whenever he came into town.

After the child was born it was brought to Hakuin.

By this time he had lost his reputation, which did not trouble him, but he took very good care of the child. He obtained milk from his neighbors and everything else the little one needed.

A year later the girl-mother could stand it no longer.

She told her parents the truth - that the real father of the child was a young man who worked in the fishmarket.

The mother and father of the girl at once went to Hakuin to ask his forgiveness, apologizing profusely and at length, and asked to get the child back again.

As Hakuin handed them the child, all he said was:

"Is that so?"

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