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SWEEPING UNDER THE PAGODA IN XIANGLIN

by Jin Nong (1687 - 1764, Qing Dynasty)
English translation: You Zai

In a monastery, cleaning and sweeping are the top priorities. From novices to old monks, no one is exempt from having to get up early to work diligently. There is a pagoda in Xianlin Monastery, which one sweeps and cleans, and then cleans and sweeps again. Brightly the sarira* illuminates, not in the pagoda, but in one’s own hands.

── from Sweeping the Pagoda in Xianglin, a painting collected by Suzhou Museum

SYMPATHIZING WITH FARMERS
by Li Shen (772 - 846, Tang Dynasty)
English translation: Miao Guang

Ploughing the rice field at mid-noon,

Sweat drips off into the soil beneath the crops;

Who is to realize that the rice in the plate

Came with hard work, grain by grain?

── from Quan Tang Shi (Complete Collection of Tang Poems)

*The relics of the Buddha or a revered monastic.