Regardless of one's personal beliefs, religion can teach us so much about life and living. It also bursts at the seams with great stories.
I came across this one recently and fell in love with it. Zen writings carry such absolute authority -- every word feels like a well-delivered punch to the spirit. It's irrefutably firm, yet soft as silk.
Late one night a thief wielding a big sword broke into Master Taigan's hut. Taigan, who was reading a book, looked up and said: "What do you want? My money or my life?"
"Your money," demanded the thief.
Taigan handed him his purse and went back to reading, as if nothing had happened. The thief crept out of the room, feeling ill at ease.
"Wait!" yelled the master. The thief froze, terrified. "Don't forget to shut the door!"
Days later, when the thief was caught, he confessed that he'd never felt more afraid than when the Buddhist priest called after him.