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Home >> Buddhism & Daoism

No Talk
- Stories Told by a Young Chinese Monk (10)

21 December 2007

My mane is No Anger, though I still get angry occasionally, my friend No Ego hasn't been humble all the time, young novice No Fool easily becomes obsessed with one foolish game or other, and my master’s lay disciple No Smoke still isn't able to quit smoke yet - it seems none of us are truly worthy of our names. But there is an exception though: the one who called No Talk never talks indeed, not since he was born.

In the nearby Watery Town there is a small restaurant. At the times when we have too much to do in the town, we would have our meal there, and the boss of the restaurant would prepare a vegetable dishes for us.

Once when we went to have a lunch there, we noticed a cage near the entrance, and in the cage there was a little puppy.

No Dust and No Fool were immediately attracted to this little fella, and played with the puppy happily until the moment they learned that the dog was to be slaughtered to make a special dish.

We all felt very sad about this and I went to persuade the boss to release the poor little creature.

“No way,” said the boss. “My customer has already booked the dish.”

“I’ll buy the dog, just let the dog go,” demanded a guest, on overhearing our discussion about how to ask our master to pay for the freedom of the dog.

The boss’s ego was hurt. “Forget it!” he shouted back at the guest. “This is none of your business.”

A big quarrel exploded. Finally the guest left the restaurant in fuming, the boss returned to kitchen in towering anger, and we ran up the hill searching for help, while the poor little dog was still trapped in the cage waiting for his doomed fate.

Soon, Master Wisdom Forever came down to the restaurant with us. He did not try to reason with the boss, instead stood in front of the cage chanting the sutras. No Dust and No Fool were never keen on sutra chanting, but this time they chanted for hours in the most serious manner. Seeing what we did, people were all moved and begged the boss to free the dog. Eventually the boss was moved too, agreeing to let his prisoner go with us.

And this little dog was later named No Talk.

When I take my rest, I like to hold No Talk sitting on a stone by the front gate, viewing the scene down the hill. The visitors to the temple often come to ask me all sorts of questions, some quite general, others rather specific. I always do my best to answer, while No Talk keeps his dignified silence as usual, pacing circles around us.

However if the abbot is there, the visitors would not bother to waste their time on No Talk and me, but go straightway to talk to the senior, and we two would keep sitting on the stone viewing the scene down the hill.

Once a lay Buddhist enquired the abbot about how to improve his cultivation.

“Well, if you can see everybody around here, including the young monk and the dog, not just me, the abbot, your cultivation will be enhanced rapidly,” returned the abbot.

(You can visit Monk No Anger's personal blog to read his original posts in Chinese at "")

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Watery Townships in South of Yangtze

A street in Wuxi modeled after ancient town of the Song Dynasty

Watery Suzhou in the rain

A streetscape in the world's oldest watery city Suzhou.

Traditional Chinese residence with typical inner courtyards in ancient southeast lake city Wuxi, Jiangsu Province.

Original photos by 大同江苏


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