If you were unable to attend the Emperor Liang Repentance services, we hope that you can plan to attend next year. Everyone celebrated, together, on Monday night by attending a dinner at Classic Diner along with our Venerable and the two visiting Venerables and Monk who came from the main temple in Taiwan. They assisted with the Emperor Liang Repentance Services.
I was only able to attend the last repentance service on Sunday. At the end of each service, the monk delighted the entire congregation with his teaching stories. Spring told me one of the stories that made an impression on her. I hope you enjoy reading it too.
It is the story of two monks who attended Ananda. Each morning one or the other monk went to beg for alms. It was a long walk since there was not a surrounding village. The houses were far apart, and the one monk made it finally to a farm. When he approached, the woman who owned the farm ran out of her house and started shouting to him, “go away! There is nothing here for you! Leave!”
The monk did not know what to do and turned and left to go back to the temple empty handed. Ananda, seeing that the monk had returned with nothing, told him that there was still food from the previous day and it could be shared and no one would go hungry that day.
The next day, the second monk went out to beg for alms. He too approached the same farm but was greeted happily and given armloads of food and also given two large watermelons to take back to the temple.
When the second monk returned, the first monk wondered why when he went that he was chased from the property.
He was troubled and asked Ananda why the woman had treated him so differently. Ananda told the first monk that it happened many centuries ago when the two monks were traveling together on the road. As they walked, they passed a dead cat. The one monk held his nose and complained about the horrible smell while the other monk bowed and tenderly gave the percepts to the departed cat.
Which monk is which and who do you think is the cat?
If anyone has another story to share that the monk told during the services, just leave a comment to this post.