Stories to Inspire
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The Other Side Story
This Zen story is about perspective. Zen has a rich tradition of telling stories so that the listener gathers their own understanding and then apply it to their own life.
Rapunzel is a German fairy tale, first recorded and published by the Brothers Grim in 1821. This version from the Brothers Grim was adapted from the Friedrich Schulz (1790) which was a translation of Persinette (1698) and the original source of the tale is the Person tale of Zal and Rudabeh from the 11th century Shahnameh (Book of Kings).
Potatoes, Eggs & Coffee Beans
This is a story about how we deal with pressure and adversity.
This is a story a out confidence, spontaneity, a sense of humor, and a willingness to share your bounty with others.
Right & Wrong
This is a Zen story about right and wrong.
Demons on a Boat
This is a story about values and dealing with our personal demons, from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).
This is a Zen story about destiny. There is a strong tradition of telling stories as a way of opening the listener to new ideas and perspectives on their own lives.
How to Catch Monkeys
This story is about how to catch monkeys in the jungle and a powerful lesson in learning what keeps us trapped and the importance of letting go.
Taming a Temper
This is a Zen story about separating sense of self from anger.
The Gift of Insults
This is a zen story about learning to handle the "gifts" that people give you.
Story Of The Four Wives
This story teaches us about priorities and life.
The Wood Cutter
This is a story from Dr. Steven Covey, highlighting the importance of taking care of ourselves and being effective in life.
The Hole in the Blanket
This is an adapted retelling of a Chumash story by elder Paul Perrota.
This Zen story demonstrates the steady presence of neutrality.
Watch Yourself Story
This Zen story is about taking care of yourself first. Zen has a rich tradition of telling stories so that the listener gathers their own understanding and then apply it to their own life.
The Butterfly Struggle
This story explores how important it is to allow the struggle.
The Seasons of Life
This story helps remind us that there is a timing and season to all things, and to not judge ourselves or others.
The Tea Cup
This is an old zen story about emptying the mind of what we know.
Two Words Story
This is a somewhat humorous Zen story about attitude and happiness. Zen has a rich tradition of telling stories so that the listener gathers their own understanding and then apply it to their own life.
The Dancing Master
This is a classic story about presence, love, and living out purpose.
The Stone Cutter
this is a Zen story about appreciating where one is at in life.
Man on the Subway
This is a powerful story, adapted from Steven Covey's book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective people, that explores the dramatic effect of paradigm shifts.
The Selfish Giant
This short story, written by Oscar Wilde, and published in 1988, weaves a bittersweet tale of humility, love and transformation.
It Will Pass
This brief, classic Zen story, reminds us of the impermanence of experience and the principle that everything will pass. A great reminder that meditation is not about clinging to an experience, but rather observing and allowing an experience to be as it is.
The Starfish Story
This is a classic story about shifting our thinking and doing what we are passionate about.
Rocks in a Jar
This is a story about time management and priorities.
The Wooden Bowl
This well known Zen parable reminds us of what is important in life.
A Cup & Coffee
This story reminds us of whats important in life.
The Princess and the Pea
The Princess and the Pea is a classic literary fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen about a young woman whose royal identity is established by a test of her sensitivity.
This is a Zen story about accepting our True Nature and that of others.
The Man and the Flood
This parable is about receiving and being open to support. It also invites questions around faith.
The Elephant Rope
This is a classic story about old beliefs that keep us stuck.
Two Monks & a Maiden
This is an old zen story about letting go.
This story from Hans Christian Andersen (1861) is a thought-provoking story about looking for perfection.
Thinking Outside the Box
This story reminds us that we always have multiple options, if we are willing to think outside of the box.
This story reminds us about the power of our perception.
The Secret to Happiness
This story reminds us to pay attention to our life.
Give Up Control
This story is about the Baal Shem Tov, an 18th century magician, mystic and healer, who founded the movement of spiritual renewal that swept through easter Europe in the 1700s. The story is of a fateful meeting between Jacob Joseph, a well known religious master of the time, and the Ball Shem. Jacob had apparently heard of the Baal Shem before but had refused to join his ecstatic movement. The following is a story of their meeting, a story of surrender, as told by Marc Gafni.
Walking on Water
This is a humorous Zen story about ego and being pragmatic.
This story is a powerful reminder about belonging, transformation and transition.
Flow Like a River
This is a zen story about facing challenges and distractions.
The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter
This is a traditional Japanese story is a 10th-century Japanese monogatari (fictional prose narrative) containing Japanese folklore. It is considered the oldest extant Japanese prose narrative, though the oldest surviving complete manuscript is dated to 1592.
Nails in the Fence
This story is about learning to deal with anger and the consequences of our actions.
This story reminds us of our inherent value.
The Windmill, by Hans Christian Andersen (1865), is a short story invoking questions about pride and belonging.
The First Principle
This is a Zen story about expectations, pressure, and letting go.
Group of Frogs
This story shows the power of encouragement, the words of others and the words we use towards ourselves.
Working Hard Story
This Zen story is about the virtue of patience. Zen has a rich tradition of telling stories so that the listener gathers their own understanding and then apply it to their own life.
The Wise Snail
This is a story about kindness; and understanding that how we treat ourselves is how we treat others.
The Cockroach Story
This story is adapted from a speech given by Sundar Pichai, about understanding how our reactions to things create or neutralize drama.
The Wise Man
This Zen story is about humility and finding what one needs. Zen has a rich tradition of telling stories so that the listener gathers their own understanding and then apply it to their own life.
This is a story adapted from Dr Steven Covey's book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and highlights natural laws that we cannot argue with.
This Zen story is a humbling reminder to pay attention. Zen stories have a rich tradition of inviting the listener to ponder the story, and glean their own understanding from the story.
Tibetan Master Dancer
This story, as told by Marc Gafni, illuminates the power of love to transform ones vision & life.
Taming the Mind
This is a zen story about taming the mind.
The Inn Story
This Zen story is about humility and the impermanence of life. Zen has a rich tradition of telling stories so that the listener gathers their own understanding and then apply it to their own life.
The King's Wine Cellar
This story explores how we need to enjoy and embrace experiences when the time is right. And that abundance should be shared.
A short story from Hans Christian Andersen about two brothers and their unique personalities.
Blind Men & the Elephant
This Zen story reminds us of how our perspectives are limited.
This is a story about generosity and understanding.