A young monk asked his teacher, “How can I truly embody the phrase ‘Breath, Move & Inspire’ in my practice?”

The teacher replied, “When you breathe, let it be a full and deep breath that fills your entire being. When you move, let it be with grace and intention, as though every step is a dance. And when you inspire, let it be from the depths of your soul, so that others may feel the warmth of your spirit.”

The monk nodded, understanding the words but unsure of how to apply them. So the teacher gave him a simple task: “Go outside and watch the birds. Observe how they breathe, move, and inspire others with their song. Learn from them, and bring that wisdom back to your practice.”

The monk did as he was told, and spent hours watching the birds. He saw how they breathed deeply and effortlessly, how they moved with grace and ease, and how their songs lifted the hearts of all who heard them.

As he returned to his practice, the monk felt a newfound sense of purpose and inspiration. He realized that, like the birds, he too could embody the qualities of breath, movement, and inspiration. And in doing so, he could bring joy and light to the world around him.


The koan encourages us to embody three qualities – breathing deeply, moving with intention, and inspiring others from the depths of our soul. These are seen as essential components of a meaningful and purposeful life. The koan suggests that we can learn from the natural world, specifically from the birds, who embody these qualities effortlessly. By observing and learning from nature, we can cultivate these qualities within ourselves and bring joy and light to the world around us. The koan invites us to consider how we can incorporate these qualities into our daily practice and how we can inspire others through our actions.

Read more

The Wisdom of the River

The Wisdom of the River

Embark on a transformative journey of self-discovery with this captivating Zen tale of Master Ryokan and the enigmatic river. Explore the essence of Zen through a timeless koan that reveals the path to enlightenment lies in the art of being present. Join us under the cherry blossom tree as we unravel the profound wisdom of the river’s flow.

read more
Share This