Translator: CKtalon Editor: CKtalon
Zen Master One Finger nodded. “The sentence isn’t wrong, but you misunderstood it. This sentence comes from the fifth chapter of the Dao De Jing. It says that Heaven and Earth have benevolent morals that sprout forth the myriad beings. As such Laozi said, ‘Heaven and Earth do not care about morals, or the lack of morals. Heaven and Earth give rise to the myriad beings, not to be compensated. Heaven and Earth treat the myriad beings as abandoned straw dogs, neither giving special treatment to people or being especially bad to others.’ The core meaning of this is that everything is equal in the eyes of Heaven and Earth. By treating everything the same, there is no class, no division, no castes. Heaven and Earth will also not act in accordance with what Man sees as good or evil. The viewpoint of good and evil that human character brings cannot be used as the value system Heaven and Earth have of the world.
“Therefore, Heaven and Earth is not troubling you, but in fact it is what establishes you. It even completes you without asking for anything in return. If you were to act superciliously against it, wouldn’t that be returning kindness with ingratitude? Are you going to act superciliously against your parents after they gave birth to you?”
Fangzheng was immediately left speechless.
“Fangzheng, back when you were given this name, it was because of the meaning ‘to be square and proper’. Nothing outstanding or aggrieved. Right in the middle, but just. To be a person who is square and proper in everything you do, you would ask yourself with every matter you encounter. Should you do such a thing or not? Is it necessary? If your heart is right, you will be upright in everything you do! Your name might not sound spectacular, but it imbues all of my expectations for you,” said Zen Master One Finger as he stroked Fangzheng’s head amiably.
Fangzheng felt as though he vaguely understood back then.
And at present, when Fangzheng was reminded of this scene again, it was as though he had been enlightened. All the frustrations in him exploded into a gaping hole!
Fangzheng looked at the anger, hate, and worries he had felt as he allowed these emotions to warp and change as he viewed the scene of his parents’ abandonment of him once more. However Fangzheng’s face no longer looked as nasty as before. Instead, he faced it calmly. In his mind, Fangzheng pressed his palms together and smiled at the constantly changing negative emotions in the sky. He smiled. “Although This Penniless Monk did not have parents from a young age and also yearns to have parents, what This Penniless Monk yearned for was that parental love he lacked. But from another point of view, it was precisely This Penniless Monk lacking his parents’ love which resulted in him obtaining love from even more people. Because of this, no child in the village could compare with me! Why was I the king of the children when I was little? It was not because I could fight, but it was because no matter who I fought with, their parents would definitely beat them up regardless of the victor! Then, I would be pulled to the side to be coaxed. I was even given all sorts of delicious foods. Back then, the children said that I was their parents’ child, while they were the ones who were picked up from the trash…
“On the mountain, the love Zen Master One Finger gave me beat everything.”
“Others might only have one pair of parents, but I have numerous parents. Why should I feel hate?”
“If there’s anything that really stands out, it’s simply regret. I regret that I lack a family that is tied to me by blood. However, that is life. Life can turn fascinating because of setbacks. The Dao can change infinitely and turn interesting because of what it lacks. It is a result of the deficits in the world being capable of becoming the motivation to create and make unusually brilliant things. Even if deficits are destined to be present, what This Penniless Monk has a deficit of is this and nothing more!”
“Thank you for letting me see the regretful deficits in my heart. In the past, This Penniless Monk did not face it, not because he didn’t dare to, but because…” Fangzheng smiled wryly when he said this as he sighed. “I actually forgot about the matter…”
That’s right. Fangzheng had indeed forgotten about the matter. In the past, although he did think of his parents, his life was already becoming extremely comfortable and substantial as he turned more sensible by the day. He had the System, his four disciples to accompany him, and the Buddhist Dharma to study. Where would he find time to think of such things?
“Today, you led me to watch this again to experience the joys and sorrows of life. This feeling… is truly not bad. But that’s all there is to it. Thank you very much. Now begone!” After Fangzheng said that, he took a deep breath and began to loudly chant the Diamond Sutra! A Buddhistic light tore through the obstruction of darkness as it surged to his mind.
Fangzheng, who was closing his eyes to hit the drum, suddenly opened them. The only thing in front of him was a black and unadorned drum, with nothing gnarly about it. Simultaneously, Fangzheng could sense a gentle energy surge in him, and after it gathered at the back of his head, he immediately felt a lot more spirited. His thoughts went as fast as lightning as his entire being seemed to be baptized. He felt extremely comfortable!
Fangzheng knew that Buddhistic aura had entered his body to cleanse him! Fangzheng subconsciously circulated the Empyronic Breathing Scripture. The energy actually began to circulate with the Empyronic Breathing Scripture’s circulation. Fangzheng could sense that his body was undergoing an astounding change, but he could not explain what exactly was happening.
Fangzheng continued hitting the drum as Monkey continued striking the bell.
The bell and drum accompanied each other in pace. One was majestic and sacred, but brought with it a Zen-like nature; the other was evil and ferocious, bringing with it endless temptation. It was as though it was digging out everything bad in one’s heart. The two sounds clashed high above the monastery and balanced each other out. The monastery was like a compressed sponge, and every strike would press together wish forces and Buddhistic aura, which then fused with the sounds before spreading out.
Unfortunately, One Finger Monastery had too little wish forces and Buddhistic aura. They did not manage to spread far. All they did was cover the summit of Mt. One Finger. It was powerless any further.
But even so, this brought immense benefits to the mountain’s animals and plants. The plants grew stronger as they turned luxuriant. The birds turned more energetic and intelligent. The entire mountaintop seemed to be enlivened from the sounds. Even the rocks on the mountain exuded a beauty of life. Of course, rocks were ultimately just rocks. They remained dead and only gave off a feeling of change.
Although the people at the foot of the mountain did not experience the catharsis of the Buddhistic aura and wish forces, their frustrations were stirred from the drumming. But when the bell gongs sounded, all of their frustrations were eliminated, leaving them feeling good. It felt like they were taking mouthfuls of ice-cold water in a midsummer desert. It was invigorating!
Yet they did not know that the Kui War Drum’s effect was to dig out any negative emotions, while the Yongle Bell was there to get rid of those negative emotions. One was responsible for digging, and the other for removal. The effects could not be noticed in short periods of time, but over time, people who often heard the morning bells and evening drums would find themselves less frustrated. They would consider any problems they faced from a happy and positive manner. Consideration of the greater good to live in peace with everyone became a priority for them, allowing their society to turn more harmonious.
It would even cause all of Songwu County to become the model place of virtue in the country a millennium later… Many people who became famous would hail from there!
But that is a matter of the postscript. For now, Fangzheng was hitting the drum a total of 108 times in accordance with the beat.