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Cross talk
- Stories Told by a Young Chinese Monk (21)

2 March 2008
 

Most incense bearers coming to our monastery live in the nearby Watery Town, but we also have people visiting us from a distance regions, and one of such guests surnamed Sun is a resident of Ma Family Town (马家镇), who comes weekly to pay his tribute to the Buddhas.

One day after burned incenses, Mr Sun sat in the courtyard chatting with us, and mentioned a theatre troop that recently performed daily in their town. Among their large selection of programs, there were short plays, martial arts performance and crosstalk (xiangshen 相声). Sun recounted some humorous episodes and lines of the xiangsheng, which made No Ego and me nearly laughed our heads off.

That night, No Ego kept tossing and turning all over his bed with excitement, and eventually said to me, “I say, No Anger, how about we make a time to go to the town to watch the show with Mr Sun?”

I was about dozing off in my bed, and blurred out my reply readily, “Yeah? Why not?” But immediately after that, I woke up with a start that allowed me to consider his proposal carefully. Finally I said to him, “I think we’d better not to go.”

“Why no?” No Ego became anxious.

So I presented my following reasons to him:

If the show was taken place in the Watery Town, it might not be an issue as the local people have got used to our presence, but since it was in a far away town, things could be quite different. Nowadays, anyone in any situation could be filmed by anybody with a mobile phone and the embarrassing pictures can be easily spread across the Internet like wild fire. We’ve already seen the images of young novices playing computer games at a parlour, and a senior master posing side by side with sexy babes at a car exhibition, and someone in a monk’s robe munching his way through fried chicken pieces in KFC. If we went to watch the show, the next day the photos in which young monks opening their month wide laughing could be posted online for everyone to view.

No Ego mused over that, and signed. He did not mention about going to watch the show again.

Some days later, Mr Sun revisited our monastery and recalled new funning lines in the crosstalk. No Ego singed again. “If only I can hear them talk with my own ear,” said he.   

Master Wisdom Follower, who just happened to be there at the time, responded, “Then just go there to watch the show after your afternoon meditation cession.”

No Ego was surprised to hear that, and recited my concerns over paparazzies.

“Why should we weight so heavily other people’s views of us?” Abbot asked back. “Everyone has his own standards to judge the things, there is no way we can please everybody, and certainly there is no need for that. After all, others can only see your external appearances, you are the one who truly knows your internal states. As long as you believe you do the right thing, you just go for it, don’t let the opinions of others dictate your life.”

Both No Ego and I were so relieved, and few days later we happily went to the Ma Family Town with Mr Sun.

心若无尘, 何惧红尘?

(You can visit Monk No Anger's personal blog to read his original posts in Chinese at "user.qzone.qq.com/787129669/blog/1204244966")

Pre: Mr Zhu's Words to His Children
Next: Items to Keep Away from Home

 
 
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走自己的路, 让别人看去吧
I walk the walk, let others talk the talk

Late Premier Zhou Enlai is the most admired and revered figure in China. To mark his 110 birth anniversary on March 5, various memorial services, some organised by the authorities, others initiated by private citizens, have been arranged.

With a sharp insight into and deep understanding of human nature and conditions, Zhou Enlai, one of the best diplomats that the world has ever seen, was always gracious, forever sensitive to the responses of others, yet at all times stood firm on principles, never allowed himself and the nation that he was representing to be pushes around by naive detractors or sinister schemers.

Zhou is viewed by a large number of Chinese as the reincarnated Zhuge Liang (诸葛亮), the legendry prime minister in the Three Kingdoms' era, and the embodiment of wisdom, loyalty and compassion.

Baby's time-honoured wisdom: I always walk my walk (that I'm still learning), and let others talk their talk (to which I'm seldom listening). I forever show people my true colour, whether they like it or not - if they do, all the best; if they don't, tough luck. Know the secret to my unfailing baby glee? Simple, I don't give much heed to the opinions of others, especially those with malicious intent and couldn't help pretending to be the stepmother of the world. I remember before I was born, the Ghost King offered me some valuable parting words: In the end, it's swindlers and liars, not their victims, will have to bear the consequences of their own negative karmas. So I only work on improving my being, not the views of others on my being, hehee...

 

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