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Lables on Fruits
- Stories Told by a Young Chinese Monk (4)

7 December 2007

There is a little township at the foot of the mountain where our monastery situated. The settlement is called Watery Town, also known as Temple Town, for it is surrounded by three Buddhist temples. Among the three, Precious Buddha Light is the biggest one - much bigger than our Bright Sky - which is a magnificent new sanctuary built right in the recently developed tourist spot, with many monks being the graduats from Buddhist colleges.

Watery Town is the place that we visit most frequently. In the town there is a fruit stall owned by Mr Cai, and we are his regular customers. Each time he would say to me, “Little master, you know, what you've got is the lowest price I've ever offered to anybody.” But I do know the younger novices sometime got even lower prices.

There are two kinds of fruits on Mr Cai’s stall, one with a label stuck on, one without. We normally only buy those with no labels since we found the stickers were just there to cover the scars on the fruits.

One day the monks of Precious Light came to visit our Bright Sky, and brought us some fruits purchased from Mr Cai’s stall, each having a beautiful label on it. We young monks laughed at the Precious monks behind their back. But later when we peeled off the labels, we found each fruit was flawless.

My master says when we treat our past experiences not as guidances but rules, we often mislead ourselves. So when I went to buy fruits today, I did not purposely pick those with no labels.

(Original online post in Chinese:

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Towns in Southern Watery Land

An ancient town Shaoxing, in Zhenjiang Province

A daylight scene of Shaoxing

(Original photo by 月下飞扬)

A night scene of Three Ponds Street (三塘街) in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province. For 2500 years, the physical location of the town centre has not altered - the only city has achieved this near eternity state in the world city development history.

(Original photo by水兵123)


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