A Flock of Fools
Ancient Buddhist Tales of Wisdom and Laughter from the One Hundred Parable Sutra
“These teachings from the heart of Buddhism ring true . . . a sumptuous meal of wild and comic dharma. Enjoy!” (Enkyō O’Hara, Soto priest and teacher).
One hundred illuminating tales of the foibles and follies of everyday fools, this elegant, humorous, and masterful little book of wisdom is a welcome addition to the Buddhist canon.
“The One Hundred Parable Sutra” is known as the most humorous sutra in all of Buddhist literature. Here, Kazuaki Tanahashi, the celebrated translator, calligrapher, and Dōgen scholar, and Peter Levitt, an award-winning poet, storyteller, and Zen practitioner, have translated and retold these jewel-like parables with storytelling panache for students, teachers, and seekers everywhere. With appropriate commentary, each tale becomes a simple lesson for everyday living. From the potter who seeks fame to the woman who possesses great lust, these tales are told with a gentle clarity that magnifies our appetites and delusions. In doing so, they become an accurate mirror of the human condition.
Illustrated with seventeen original brushwork drawings by Tanahashi, A Flock of Fools is a perfect little book of wisdom, laughter, and compassion.
“Translator Kaz Tanahashi and storyteller Peter Levitt have given these stories a subtle American-Zen flavor, and although this collection has a 1500-year pedigree . . . its messages ring clear and true today.” —Shambala Sun
“Funny, strange, wise, informing, this marvelous book celebrates the wild heart of Buddhism.” —Roshi Joan Halifax, Zen Buddhist teacher
“Nothing breaks apart dualism and sanctimoniousness like a good laugh! . . . lively reminders of the power of humor to enrich our understanding, and to help us let go of our attachments.” — Enkyō O’Hara, Soto priest and teacher