The Moon Cannot Be Stolen

The Moon Cannot Be Stolen: A Zen Parable

A Zen master lived the simplest kind of life in a little hut at the foot of a mountain. One evening a thief visited the hut only to discover there was nothing in it to steal.

Ryokan returned and caught him. “You may have come a long way to visit me,” he told the prowler, “and you should not return empty-handed. Please take my clothes as a gift.”

The thief was bewildered. He took the clothes and slunk away.

Ryokan sat naked, watching the moon. “Poor fellow,” he mused, “I wish I could give him this beautiful moon.”​

Reps, Paul. Zen Flesh, Zen Bones: A Collection Of Zen And Pre-Zen Writings (p. 32). Pickle Partners Publishing. Kindle Edition.

The Moon Cannot Be Stolen is found in What Do I Value? How Much? in the Park Benches: Explore Questions ​section of the Website.