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Children's Day
- Stories Told by a Young Chinese Monk (15)

29 January 2008

For celebrating Children’s Day, the Watery Town authority organised a show on 1 June which would be presented by the students of the two primary schools, and No Dust and No Fool were also invited to perform kung fu.

Regrettably, not all Chinese monasteries are as martially mighty as Shaolin Temple, and our monastery is unfortunately one of those that are not. So Master Wisdom Benefactor (智惠大师) arranged the novices to chant Great Compassion (大悲咒) instead.

It was the first time that our monastery ever sent anyone to perform publicly, so we were pretty nervous. No Ego went a considerable length in selecting a pair of the most audibly appealing wooden fishes (木鱼) for our honourable star performers.

The stars never before had any opportunities to get anywhere near a stage in their entire lives, neither were they good mantra chanters. The chances were when the pair stood on the platform rumbling, the audience might think they were there quietly complaining about something. To prevent this dreadful scenario from appearing, in the days leading up to the Children’s Day, all senior masters were seriously getting themselves involved in the rehearsal.

That big day eventually arrived. And we all put on a clean robe and went down to the town, leaving only one monk to take care of the monastery.

When we approached the town, we felt a strong festival atmosphere, as people from nearby towns flocked to watch the show. We noticed a large banner with a big sign that read: Welcome the Little Masters from the Bright Sky Temple.

The novices were scheduled to perform at the end of the show, it was clear that there was a high anticipation in the audience. When the moment came, the whole crowd suddenly became quiet, holding their collective breath to wait for a Shaolin-style stunt.

The boys were overwhelmed, stationed there beating the wooden fishes mechanically, and their chanting voices were no more audible than the sound of their breadth.

It was embarrassing. Then without warning, No Ego jumped onto the platform and shouted at the audience. “Come on, give them some encouragement, some applause, Please!”

There was a silence in the crowd for a while, then a thunderous applause erupted. Encouraged by compassionate encouragement and support, the voices of the boys became louder and clearer - I’d never witnessed the two changed the Great Compassion with such a passion.

It seems with a bit encouragement and support, anyone can achieve what he is striving for.

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

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