The Zen master Shichiri Kojun and the thief

One evening, Zen master Shichiri Kojun was reciting sutras when a thief entered his house with a sharp sword, demanding “money or life”.
Without any fear, Shichiri said: “Don’t disturb me! Help yourself with the money, it’s in that drawer” and he resumed his recitation.

The thief was startled by this unexpected reaction, but he proceeded with his business anyway.
While he was helping himself with the money, the master stopped and called, “Don’t take all of it. Leave some for me to pay my taxes tomorrow”.
The thief left some money behind and prepared to leave. Just before he left, the master suddenly shouted at him, “You took my money and you didn’t even thank me?! That’s not polite!”. Continue reading