one last anecdote to end the note...

MarginaliaJimmy RiordanComment

I have been listening to Podcasts from the Australian Buddhist society. They are spoken every Friday night by this monk named Ajahn Brahm. He talks about all kinds of things like patience and procrastination and love and reincarnation. And in one talk a story came up about a Franciscan monk who was the height of selflessness.  So this monk ( having taken a vow of poverty) would walk around the city in his robe with an empty bowl. But one day a beggar told the monk he was cold and asked him for his robe. So the monk undressed, gave the beggar his robe and returned to the monastery naked. At first they sent him away thinking he was a pervert, and then they recognized him and allowed  him back in. He explained what had happened, they gave him a new robe and the next day came. Well, at the end of the next day the monk came back naked again. So this happened three or four days in a row. It was clear that this monk was becoming known as a sucker, so the abbot called the monk into his office and has a stern talk with him. He told him that charity is good, but to be such a dummy.Their robes were bought by parishoners, who themselves weren't rich, and that he shouldn't be so foolish. So the lecture went on for a good hour until it was apparent that the monk understood. So he left the abbots office and within a few minutes came a knock on the door. When the abbot opened it, there was the same monk standing with a bowl of hot soup. He told the abbot that he had brought it for him because he wanted to soothe his throat that must be dry from yelling at him for the last hour......... So this story illustrated the ultimate kindness and conciliatory nature of the monk. Even after being scolded for an entire hour, all he could think about was how the abbot had worn out his throat. Anna Raupp