The Moon cannot be Stolen: ZEN Stories

Narrated by Peter Coyote

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 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.’

Playlists: Zen Koans, Stories, Poems