Accepting All the Blame


At the Ling Chuan Monastery during a staff meeting, the Master harshly pointed out that the monks’ chanting was unacceptable. He called on the dianzuo (the monk in charge of the kitchen), “Tell me what the reason is: Is it because you didn’t cook enough food so that everyone had to chant with an empty stomach?” The dianzuo stood up with his palms together and said “Yes, Shifu.”

As the meeting continued, the Master learned that construction was behind schedule. He called on the dianzuo again, “Did you forget to prepare snacks for the monks who were working hard at the construction site? Is that why we are behind schedule?” The dianzuo replied respectfully, “Yes, Shifu.” Throughout the meeting the dianzuo repeatedly stood up in response to the Master’s severe questioning, each time calmly answering only with “Yes, Shifu.”