The story of Hakuin

The story of Hakuin

Once upon a time, there was a renowned Zen master named Hakuin. He lived in a small village in Japan and was known for his wisdom and compassion.

One day, a young woman in the village became pregnant, but she refused to reveal the identity of the father. When her outraged parents demanded to know who was responsible, she pointed to Hakuin.

Enraged, the parents went to Hakuin's house and berated him for his alleged misconduct. But Hakuin simply replied, "Is that so?"

Despite the villagers' condemnation and gossip, Hakuin remained unperturbed and continued his daily routine of meditation and teaching.

Months later, the woman gave birth to a healthy baby boy. Unable to bear the shame any longer, the parents brought the baby to Hakuin's doorstep and demanded that he take responsibility for the child.

Without hesitation, Hakuin accepted the baby and lovingly cared for him. The villagers were astonished by Hakuin's compassion and willingness to take on the responsibility of raising the child.

Years passed, and the young woman finally confessed the truth to her parents. Ashamed of their earlier accusations against Hakuin, they rushed to his house to apologize and reclaim their grandchild.

When they arrived, they found Hakuin playing with the child in the garden. Tearfully, they explained the situation to Hakuin and begged for his forgiveness.

Smiling warmly, Hakuin replied, "Is that so?"

This Zen story teaches us the power of non-attachment, compassion, and equanimity in the face of adversity. Hakuin's response of "Is that so?" embodies the Zen principle of accepting things as they are, without judgment or resistance. It reminds us that true wisdom lies in our ability to respond to life's challenges with grace, kindness, and an open heart.
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