1. A cup of tea.  A professor was full of it.
Once upon a time, there was a professor who had developed a deep curiosity about Zen. He read numerous books and engaged in conversations with those familiar with Zen teachings. However, he felt that his understanding of Zen was limited and believed that he could only truly comprehend it by learning from a Zen ascetic firsthand.

Driven by his quest for knowledge, the professor set out to find a Zen Guru. After a long search, he finally encountered a wise ascetic. The Zen Guru invited him to sit down and placed a teacup before him. With a serene demeanor, the ascetic began pouring tea from a jug into the cup. He continued pouring even after the cup was full, causing the tea to overflow and spill onto the table.
The professor grew increasingly upset at the seemingly wasteful act and abruptly told the ascetic to stop pouring the tea. In response, the Zen Guru calmly retorted, "This simple act is an example of how whatever I say will not leave an impression on you but will merely pass through your mind."
The professor was taken aback by the Guru's words. He realized that his preconceived notions and opinions had prevented him from truly grasping the essence of Zen. The Zen story served as a poignant illustration of the same theme—how our own judgments and biases can hinder our ability to understand people or concepts fully.
In another instance, a newspaper journalist approached the renowned philosopher J. Krishnamurthy, seeking his opinion on Mr. M.K. Gandhi. Krishnamurthy responded, seemingly arrogantly, by saying, "Why should I have an opinion of Gandhi? Only idiots will have opinions." However, Krishnamurthy later explained that he gave this answer to emphasize that forming opinions about someone can prevent us from truly knowing them in their entirety.
2.       Finding a Diamond on a Muddy Road    A drunk becomes a servitor and a reformed Zen follower.

Similarly, the Zen master in our story embarked on a journey to buy a new pair of shoes. He came across a shoe shop where he encountered a young woman, an elderly saleswoman and her despondent children. Curious about their gloomy disposition, the Guru inquired about the reason behind it.
The saleswoman shared her troubles, explaining that her husband was an alcohol abuser and a compulsive gambler. His excessive drinking, particularly after losing bets, led to more losses and created ongoing problems in their family life. The Guru, sensing an opportunity to help, offered to intervene.
He requested alcohol and fish from the troubled woman, assuring her that he would take care of the situation. The family had their own temple nearby, and the Guru decided to meditate in its frontage. Later that night, when the husband returned home famished and weak, he found the Guru ready to serve him fish and liquor.
Unaware of what had transpired during the night, the husband consumed the meal and fell asleep contentedly. The next morning, upon seeing the Guru, he was puzzled and asked about his identity. The Guru introduced himself and recounted the events of the previous night. Stricken by his own weakness and vulnerability, the husband felt compelled to repay his debt of gratitude.
Hunched over and weakened by his struggles, the husband insisted on carrying the Guru's bag and accompanying him on his journey. Although the Guru suggested he return home, the husband's willingness to serve and his newfound joy in doing so prompted him to continue following the Guru. Eventually, he never went back home.
With time, the once-troubled husband transformed into one of the Guru's most dedicated disciples. The sudden change in his character might seem perplexing, but the reason was simple. The Guru, a strict vegan and teetotaler, had chosen to serve him fish and liquor intentionally. This act of unexpected kindness made the husband realize his own weaknesses and feel obligated to repay the Guru.
Carrying the Guru's bag became a symbol of his commitment and devotion. As he continued to serve the Guru with a genuine willingness and happiness, the husband's perspective on life began to shift. The act of selfless service ignited a sense of purpose within him, and he found joy in supporting and assisting the Guru in his journey.
Service, he discovered, was not bound by hierarchy or specific roles. It was a profound expression of care and compassion that anyone could offer to another. Through his actions, the once-troubled husband demonstrated that service transcends personal inclinations and circumstances. It is an embodiment of love and a way to connect with others on a deeper level.
As the husband immersed himself in the teachings and guidance of the Guru, he experienced a profound transformation. His commitment to selflessly serve extended beyond the boundaries of his own desires and vices. He discovered a newfound sense of purpose in dedicating himself to the Guru's path and the principles of Zen.
Over time, the husband's dedication and devotion became evident to the Guru and the entire community of disciples. His genuine willingness to serve, rooted in gratitude and selflessness, earned him respect and admiration. The transformation that had taken place within him was seen as a testament to the transformative power of service and the potential for personal growth.
The story of the Zen master and the troubled husband served as a reminder that true understanding comes not from forming opinions or holding on to preconceived notions but from open-mindedness, self-reflection, and the willingness to engage in acts of service. Through his selfless actions, the husband discovered a profound connection to the Guru and the teachings of Zen, ultimately becoming one of the most devoted disciples.
And so, the tale teaches us that service offered with genuine willingness and happiness has the power to transform lives, both our own and those we serve. It reminds us to approach others and the world with an open heart, free from judgment, and to embrace the transformative potential that lies within acts of kindness and compassion.