Zen Master Ryokan

Magazine Arts & Culture

The Rabbit in the Moon

This tale, retold by Zen monk-poet Ryokan (c. 1758–1831), draws on an old Chinese legend of a rabbit who lives in the moon. It is one of many Jataka tales, stories of Shakyamuni Buddha’s previous lives that illustrate acts of selflessness.  It took place in a world long long ago they say: a monkey, a […]

By Zen Master Ryokan

Magazine Teachings

Meat: To Eat It or Not—Zen Master Ryokan

Once Ryokan was traveling with a young monk. At a certain teahouse they received food that contained fish. The young monk left the fish untouched, as is the orthodox Buddhist custom, but Ryokan gobbled it down without a moment’s thought. “That food has fish in it, you know,” the monk said to Ryokan. “Yes, it was […]

By Zen Master Ryokan
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