Zen Stores to Tell Your Neighbor: One of the many things that shaped me into the bleeding heart, curious and loving Pantheist I am today.
I was probably 12 or 13 years old when my mom showed me one of the Zen stories, and I loved it so much I read the rest as quickly as I could. Once or twice a year, I go back and read them all over again, and every I visit I end up seeing something new.
I especially love the reader comments at the end of each story. Some are deeply thoughtful, others are totally clueless or even sarcastic, but each one brings a new angle, and its a lot of fun to see the different interpretations. These anonymous, forgotten readers helped a young kid like me understand a little bit about what it all meant. Thank you, faceless dozens!
My personal favorite has always been Useless Life. The others are fantastic, don’t get me wrong, but Useless Life has always stuck with me.
There are so few survivors from “the old days” of the Internet, and most of them are blogs, now sporting clever designs and coordinating color schemes. I’m not saying they’ve forgotten their roots (indeed, many of them were trailblazers back then and don’t get nearly enough respect) but they’ve certainly updated with the times. Zen Stories is what it was when I first found it, and likely will be the same until the sad day its finally pulled offline forever. I find some comfort in that.
The Internet of today, series of tubes that it is, is constantly shifting, evolving and moving forward. It is flashy, dazzling and still blazing trails. Zen Stories is static, basic and simple. It is, after over 15 years, still there when I need it, quietly waiting. It is Zen, all the way, and I hope it brings as much pleasure to others as it has brought to me.