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The Moon Cannot Be Stolen
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A Zen master lived the simplest kind of life in a little hut at the foot of a mountain. One evening a thief visited the hut only to discover there was nothing in it to steal.
Ryokan returned and caught him. “You may have come a long way to visit me,” he told the prowler, “and you should not return empty-handed. Please take my clothes as a gift.”
The thief was bewildered. He took the clothes and slunk away.
Ryokan sat naked, watching the moon. “Poor fellow,” he mused, “I wish I could give him this beautiful moon.”
Reps, Paul. Zen Flesh, Zen Bones: A Collection Of Zen And Pre-Zen Writings (p. 32). Pickle Partners Publishing. Kindle Edition.
The Moon Cannot Be Stolen: A Zen Parable