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The moon cannot be stolen

Ryokan, 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 to steal.

Kyokan 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 tool the clothes and slunk away.

Ryokan sat naked, watching the moon. “Poor fellow,” he mused, “I wish I could give him this beautiful moon.”  101 Zen stories..

 

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