A zen story: “The Gates of Heaven”

Written By: Sky Yang

There was once a skilled Samurai who was on his journey. He had reached a certain level of mastery that he began experiencing a deeper dimension in life through his practice.

Puzzled by his thoughts, he visited a zen master. He asked, “Is there really heaven and hell?”. “Who are you?” inquired the zen master. “I am a samurai” the warrior replied. “You? A soldier?! What kind of ruler would have you as his guard??? Your face looks like that of a beggar.” Exclaimed the zen master.

The samurai became so furious that he began to reach for his sword, but the zen master went on, “so you have a sword! Your sword is probably much too dull to cut my head off!”

As the samurai drew his sword the master remarked, “Here open the gates to hell!” At these words, the samurai halted to a stop inches before the sword reaches the master’s neck. Perceiving the master’s discipline, sheathed his sword and bowed. “Here opens the gates of heaven.” Said the zen master.

And with this, his inner journey has now, truly began…

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