Great Waves
(A Zen Story)

In the early days of the Meiji era there lived a well-known wrestler called O-nami, Great Waves.

O-nami was immensely strong and knew the art of wrestling. In his private bouts he defeated even his teacher, but in public he was so bashful that even his own pupils threw him.

O-nami felt that he should go to a Zen master for help. Hakuju, a wandering teacher, was stopping in a little temple nearby, so O-nami went to see him and told him of his trouble.

“Great Waves is your name,” the teacher advised, “so stay in this temple tonight. Imagine that you are those billows. You are no longer a wrestler who is afraid. You are those huge waves sweeping everything before them, swallowing all in their path. Do this and you will be the greatest wrestler in the land.”

The teacher retired. O-nami sat in meditation trying to imagine himself as waves. He thought of many different things. Then gradually he turned more and more to the feelings of the waves. As the night advanced the waves became larger and larger. They swept away the flowers in their vases. Even the Buddha in the shrine was inundated. Before dawn the temple was nothing but the ebb and flow of an immense sea.

In the morning the teacher found O-nami meditating, a faint smile on his face. He patted the wrestler’s shoulder. “Now nothing can disturb you,” he said. “You are those waves. You will sweep everything before you.”

The same day O-nami entered the wrestling contests and won. After that, no one in Japan was able to defeat him.

from Zen Flesh, Zen Bones
Compiled by Paul Reps
Penguin Books


By bringing the Art of Mindfulness to your corporation, you bring a sense of power. Not power that is steeped in the ideas of "must have this" and "can't have that" but rather, a power which arises from seeing the complete situation. When we see the complete situation without being attached to a particular outcome, many more options become available. There is an open sense of creativity and flow. 


Christopher is now accepting corporate accounts and will hold group meditation sessions at your place of business or online. Contact Christopher at chrisluard21@gmail.com for more details. Get the O-nami advantage!