In Which An 8th Century Monk Trolls Us All


Inside this telephone booth of yore lies the Miroku Stone. For hundreds of years (since the time of the venerable Kobo Daishi*) it has been known that if a virtuous person reaches through the little window and picks up the stone, it will feel light. But if you’ve been a bad boy, it will be unbearably heavy.

So...feeling lucky?

So…feeling lucky?

I watched as dozens of people lined up to find out if the Buddha of the Future agreed with their own assessment of their character…and have to admit that I was deeply entertained when they were ALL disappointed.

Yep, that little bugger of a stone is deceptively heavy (I know what you’re thinking SHUT UP) but…is this not an excellently-told lesson for the ages?

* The eminently overachieving Kobo Daishi (or Kukai, as he was known in life) founded the Shingon sect of Buddhism, which basically teaches that you don’t have to be reborn a gazillion times (sometimes as a mosquito or other unpleasant life form) in order to attain enlightenment. You can do it in one, if you carefully follow his (exceedingly strict) teachings.

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