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The first zen story that "wanted to be told" is:

* Cherry Blossoms *

A nun, Rengetsu by name, was on a pilgrimage
when she stopped in a small town seeking shelter for the night.
It had been a long and difficult journey, and she was very tired.
She went from door to door asking for a place to stay,
but no one would let her in.

It was sunset now and getting darker by the minute,
so she finally made her bed for the night
in a field under a cherry tree.

In the middle of the night she awoke
to find the cherry tree in full blossom
beneath a beautiful silvery moon.
The sight was breathtaking!

The Full Moon shone on the little woman and the Cherry Blossoms

Awed by this unexpected beauty,
she turned toward the village, bowed,
and uttered this little prayer of thanks:

Through their kindness in refusing me lodging,
I found myself beneath the beautiful blossoms
on the night of the misty moon.


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story as told in One Hand Clapping, pub.by Rizzoli, NY

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