I love stories. Their messages can be so useful for people of all ages in all ages, particularly Zen stories. They’re well known for teaching lessons in meditation and contemplation. We can all learn much from these six Zen stories.
1. Everything Changes
“Suzuki Roshi, I’ve been listening to your lectures for years,” a student said during the question and answer time following a lecture, “but I just don’t understand. Could you just please put it in a nutshell? Can you reduce Buddhism to one phrase?”
Everyone laughed. Suzuki laughed.
“Everything changes,” he said. Then he asked for another question.
One of Buddhism’s foremost teachings is how everything in life is ever-changing and impermanent. Suzuki Roshi (Shunru Suzuki of Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind) refers to this impermanence when he says “everything changes”. This seems like a pretty simple teaching but it is actually one of the deepest lessons one can learn. I’ll try to sum it up in as few words as possible.