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
“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
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
“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.
(You can visit Monk No Anger's personal blog to read his
original posts in Chinese at "user.qzone.qq.com/787129669/blog/1204244966")
Zhu's Words to His Children
to Keep Away from Home