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My Life in a Monastery
- Stories Told by a Young Chinese Monk (2)

6 December 2007
 

This afternoon, I told my master that I posted the stories about our monastery online, he didn’t reproach me, but approved what I did. We monks are basically hermits, so I use a fictional but similar name for our temple. Apart from that, the stories are all true, nothing fictitious about, as not to tell lies is one of the five basic precepts in the Buddha's teaching.

Our Bright Sky Monastery is situated in a small mountain area, and we have over twenty people all together. When I first came here about ten years ago, there were only eight or nine monks and the donations were just enough for meals with nothing left for anything else. But in recent years, this region has been gradually developed into a tourist spot, which brings more visitors to our temple, and we began to receive all sorts of donations. Previously we had two computers for the elders, this year we got three more from our donors, so everyone has a chance to log online. We’ve also got stereos, compact discs and microphones, but Abbot doesn’t approve of karaoke, so these equipments are only used for Dharma lessons and Buddhist music.

Each morning, my master preaches the Buddhism to the incense bearers, unless there are too many visitors, otherwise we all go there to listen. He’s a master story teller, and I would like to share some of his stories with everyone here. Those are all interesting stories.

Before I went to the monastery, I only studies in school for three years. Our school had just one teacher, after she got married and went to live with her husband in the county town, we had no teacher at all. Those affluent families sent their kids to boarding schools in the town, but my family is poor, so I helped my parents working on our farmland.

When my mom gave birth to my brother, the burden of raising children became too heavy for my parents, so they sent me to live in the monastery. My master initially declined to take me in, and my mom urged me to kowtow to him, and I kowed so many tows, eventually the master agreed to let me stay.

My master later went to a Buddhist college studied for a few years, and I study from him. He has read many books. Some questions asked by the visitors are quite deep, which I don’t really understand, but my master knows how to answer.

I chant the Heart Sutra (心经) and the Great Compassion Mantra (大悲咒) daily, but haven't been able to grasp the true meanings of the Diamond Sutra (金刚经). Hopefully I will be able to comprehend it in a few years.

I also read other non Buddhist books, such as kung fu stories. At moment I’m reading some novels on this website, of course, my master doesn’t know that.

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