Dropping the Beat


Buddhist chanting accompanied by the Dharma instruments can be challenging to perfect. Once, the monks were performing the morning service earnestly. Unexpectedly, the Master walked in with his hands folded behind his back. His eyes were cast down looking back and forth across the ground. The monk on duty hurried over and asked, “Shifu, are you searching for something?” The Master replied, “The beats! Haven’t you seen them? The beats are all over the floor! Go fetch a broom and sweep them up!”

 After the service, the monks responsible for leading the service and playing the Dharma instruments knelt in front of the Buddha statue in penance.