Working out the Ego


In the early days of constructing the Ling Chuan Monastery, there was much hard work to be done. An elder disciple of the Master was seen tirelessly transporting 100-pound bags of cement; he and all the other monks were all working hard and sweating profusely.

Once, the Master suddenly turned to this elder disciple and started to reproach him, “How many times have I told you to prepare snacks for people who are out here working? Why didn’t you prepare any snacks?” The monk joined his palms and said respectfully, “Yes, Shifu.”

On another occasion, when everyone went out to transport stones, a nun who was not strong enough to move a big stone accidentally dropped it into the mountain gorge, and it was rolling directly towards the Master. The Master jumped aside to avoid the stone and pointed his finger at this elder disciple, chiding him, “That’s all your fault.” The monk joined his palms, and said respectfully, “Yes, Shifu.”

Whenever a monk said something inappropriate, the Master chided this elder disciple, “That’s all your fault.” When yet another monk made a mistake, the Master would scold this elder disciple, “It’s again all your fault.” This elder disciple of the Master would always join his palms and respond respectfully, “Yes, Shifu.”