Dharma Card for November, 2014
Let the kindness you did to others
flow down the stream;
Let the kindness you received from others
be inscribed in a stone.
One day a famous monk Sengai was walking down the
street in Hakata, Kyushu, when his clog thong snipped
off to his bewilderment. Seeing his plight, a landlady
ran out of her shop and fixed it for him. “Thank you
very much,” he said and went away. Because she helped
the great monk, she felt happy all the day.
Next morning when the monk again passed by her shop,
she expected some word of thanks from him, but he only
said, “Good morning,” and went away. Towards the evening,
as she noticed him coming back, she pushed herself on to
the center of the street to face him, but he merely said,
“Hi.” “What an ungrateful monkie! she exploded within herself
and spread her indignation around.
When her grievance reached his ear, Sengai revealed, “I did
not like to offset her great kindness with mere words of thanks;
I wanted to inscribe her good deed into the notebook of my mind
and keep it till I die.” This is an episode against patronizing
Now this is the month of Ho’onko to remember Shinran Shonin’s
unreturnable benevolence to us. Let us thank him from the bottom
of our hearts.