The Tale of A Monk – Tale

Context: JL is a Cambodian college student and shares his experience with “The Tale of A Monk” and how it has impacted them and their beliefs.

Interview: The tale of a monk, a student monk had a hard time meditating and would always get angry and external noises that disrupted his silence, so he decided to go out into a boat in the middle of the water, in the middle of the lake while meditating, a boat hits him, the monk starts to yell at the sailor of the boat but no one is on it, there he realizes that although things may try to provoke him, the anger is within him. I first heard this story while reading a book about our thoughts and how to be in control of them. This story has a lot of essence as I think everyone can relate to the student monk, people try to provoke us all the time and ultimately it is up to us to decide what to do about it, do we accept and move on, or do we get hung up on the fact that someone is trying to provoke us. This story means a lot to me because it opened my eyes to how I could be a better person and how to practice my Cambodian traditional beliefs of Buddhism, that good behavior achieves enlightenment.

Analysis: JL dives into the tale of a monk and how the monk was provoked to get angry due to his inability to focus on his meditation but soon learns how to control it and keep his anger within, protecting the feelings of others and even his own. JL, later on, relates to the tale of the monk by connecting his experience with the people overall and himself. As he elaborates on the decision-making of a person that ultimately determines whether they let a situation bother them or not, he ends on a note that many can leave off on, how learning how to let go of situations that don’t require a plethora of energy save us from ourselves. As for the cultural ties JL discussed, Buddhism plays a major role in why this story impacts them the most. One of the main teachings of Buddhism is to become enlightened and one of the many ways to achieve that is through practicing the understanding of the four noble truths. The case of JL and the impact of the story relates to the third noble truth in Buddhism, “Nihroda” (cessation of suffering), which eliminates hatred and ignorance within a person, similar to the idea of the monk eliminating the hatred and anger from within himself, bringing him closer to obtaining Nirvana. As JL continues to practice what he learned from the Tale of A Monk, he will also practice his cultural beliefs of eliminating hatred from within himself.