Is That So?

The Zen Master Hakuin was praised by his neighbors as one living a very pure life. This is a story about his patience. One day, the parents of a beautiful unmarried Japanese girl found that their daughter was pregnant. This made the parents very angry. She would not tell them who the father was, but after continued questioning, the girl confessed that Hakuin was the father. In great anger, the parents went to the Master and confronted him with the accusation. All he said was, “Is that so?” After the child was born, the parents brought the baby to Hakuin, demanding that he care and raise his son. By this time his reputation had been completely smeared by the parent’s and townspeople’s accusations. He accepted the baby and took great care of the child. He obtained milk from the neighbors and provided everything that the baby needed. A year later, the girl-mother could not stand it any longer. She finally confessed to her parents the name of the true father. Of course, this was NOT Hakuin. The mother, father and daughter immediately went to Hakuin to ask his forgiveness. They apologized at length, then asked for the baby back. Hakuin was willing. In returning the child to the mother, all he said was “Is that so?”

By Ian Marshall

Ian Paul Marshall has been initiated by the Dalai Lama, is trained in Zen as transmitted through the teachings of the Venerable Dr. Thich Thien-An and Seung Sahn Dae Jong Sa and is the founder of based out of Toronto, Canada.