The Gate of Paradise

Nobushige, a soldier, came to Hakuin, a famous Zen Master, and asked, "Is there really a paradise and a hell?" "Who are you?' inquired Hakuin. "I am a samurai," Nobushige replied. "You, a samurai!" exclaimed Hakuin. "What kind of a lord would have you as his guard? You look like a beggar!" Nobushige became so enraged that he began to draw his sword. Hakuin continued, "So you have a sword. It is probably too dull to even cut off my heard." Nobushige brandished his weapon. Hakuin remarked, "Here, open the gates of hell." At these words the perceptive samurai sheathed his word and bowed. "Here, open the gates of paradise," said Hakuin.

Heaven and hell are the contents of our everyday life.


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