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Monk's Hairdo
- Stories Told by a Young Chinese Monk (8)

14 December 2007

I became a Buddhist monk when I was twelve, and in the next ten years, my hair never gets a chance to grow longer than a quarter of an inch. But if you think we monks with a clean-shaven head should have no issue with hairdressers, you are wrong. In fact, we still do.

The hairdresser of our monastery is Master Wisdom Forever (智恒). What set him apart from most other hairdressers in the world are three things:

The first, this particular hairdresser is specialised with one hair style only: clean-shaven.

The second is his obsessive passion for his profession. After shaving heads for twenty years, he's lost none of his enthusiasm for this time-honoured craft. Whenever he finds a young monk with something growing on his head, he would chase after him until not a single hair can be visibly detected on the little one’s top.

And finally it is his never improved craftsmanship. As a hairdresser with twenty-years experience, he can still manage to cut us by accident while shaving our head. Of course, that might have some good reasons: His young customers often refuse to cooperate, and he never has a chance to experiment more complicated hairstyles than clean-shaven.

In our monastery, Master Wisdom Forever is the one who terrifies the young monks most, for his eyes forever stare at our tops which already have very few hairs allowing us to make any kind of fashion statement.

Often when we gather to chat and play in the courtyard, the Venerable Elder would reckon it’s a good time to sharpen his head-shaven skills. But as soon as we spot a sharp shaving blade in his hand, we would all slip away in no time. No Dust and No Fool always run faster than rabbits in such circumstances, and No Ego, a basketball player, is well-trained on high speed race, which forever leaves my head to be under his terrifying blade. So if you ever have a chance to visit our temple and see a young monk with the cleanest shaven head, you know it's me, Monk No Anger.

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