The Voice of truth

Ancient Words of Wisdom

Zen Stories

Zen

After Bankei had passed away,

a blind man who lived near the master’s temple told a friend:

“Since I am blind, I cannot watch a person’s face, so I must judge his character by the sound of his voice.

Ordinarily when I hear someone congratulate another upon his happiness or success, I also hear a secret tone of envy.

When condolence is expressed for the misfortune of another, I hear pleasure and satisfaction, as if the one condoling was really glad there was something left to gain in his own world.

“In all my experience,

however,

Bankei’s voice was always sincere.

Whenever he expressed happiness, I heard nothing but happiness,

and

whenever he expressed sorrow, sorrow was all I heard.”

3 thoughts on “The Voice of truth

    • Bankei Yōtaku (盤珪永琢?, 1622-1693) was a Japanese Rinzai Zen master, and the abbot of the Ryomon-ji and Nyoho-ji. He is best known for his talks on the Unborn as he called it. According to D. T. Suzuki, Bankei, together with Dogen and Hakuin, is one of the most important Japanese Zen masters and his Unborn Zen is one the most original developments in the entire history of Zen thought…. thanks for your fragrance on my blog …. love all.

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