Where is the umbrella?

By Paulo Coelho

After ten years of study, Zenno believed that he was ready to be made a Zen master. One rainy day, he went to visit the famous teacher Nan-in.

When Zenno went into the house, Nan-in asked:

‘Did you leave your umbrella and your shoes outside?’

‘Of course, I did,’ replied Zenno. ‘It’s only polite. I would do the same thing anywhere.’

‘Then tell me this: did you place your umbrella to the right or to the left of your shoes?’

‘I haven’t the slightest idea, master.’

‘Zen Buddhism is the art of being totally aware of one’s every action,’ said Nan-in.

‘Lack of attention to apparently minor details can completely destroy a man’s life. A father hurrying out of his house must never leave a dagger within reach of his small son. A Samurai who does not polish his sword every day will find that when most he needs it, the sword has grown rusty. A young man who forgets to give flowers to his beloved will end up losing her.’

And Zenno understood that, although he had a good knowledge of Zen techniques when applied to the spiritual world, he had forgotten to apply them to the world of men.

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  1. nike frees says:

    Thank you for your sharing, it is worth collecting blog.

  2. marie-christine says:

    In the appartment, it is in the umbrella’s pot on the left, next to the pantouffles.

  3. Marie-Christine says:

    Everything lies in disciplining yourself and in the details.

  4. fLUXman says:

    well normally i put the umbrella that I carry with my primary hand the right would be on the left side , aware that when i leave i would like to pick it up with my right hand.
    p.s paulo even my fingers got twisted typing this bo0om.

  5. between the theory and the application
    we all fall in this trap

    if knowledge is not applied, experienced, tasted, it wont do us any good… for the theory has described the major lines… but the application put us in contact with the details

    details are the building blocks of any issue and event in life

    i think that if i have looked closer to the details of some important matter in my life… i would have been better off

    thanks for the inspiration
    may the moon light shine on your paces

  6. Thank Allah and his beloved Prophet that you are one of their vessels for their light!!!!!

  7. Dear Sufi Friend,

    I have been grappling with a rather emotive personal issue and the story of Zenno helped me to realise that I should stop expecting people to give me the benefit of the spiritual & worldly doubt.

    Thanks a zillion Rishi! It was just what the doctor ordered!

    Keep Jamming and dreaming

    Little Faisal

  8. aditya says:

    This requires one to remain alert, aware, in the moment. It’s a knack, a craft.