phinnia: smiling dolphin face (flower bowl)
[livejournal.com profile] seularen wrote a monks!fic for me! it's wonderful. go read!

Link here: Victory
phinnia: smiling dolphin face (flower bowl)
"Reality is what it is." Guang intoned, allowing the ball to bounce in and out of the carved wooden cup in his hand. "Truth is what it is. The real question is, what are you?"

"An impossibly spineless toad who is not worthy of an education." Lau Yuan replied promptly, and looked very pleased with himself. Jing, who was laying the table, could not help but laugh under his breath.

Guang considered him for a moment. "Why do you say this?"

"That's what you called me yesterday when i burned the end of one of your scrolls. You said, "Lau Yuan, you are an impo-"

"That is not the answer." Guang raised his voice in an attempt to drown out Lau Yuan, as though glaring him into the paving stones was not enough. "It is very true, but it is not the answer I seek. I will repeat the lesson. Reality is what it is. Truth is what it is. The real question is, what are you?"

"What are you?" Lau Yuan repeated.

"That is correct."

Rou frantically tried to get Lau Yuan's attention but was unsuccessful.

Lau Yuan thought for a moment. "You are a cantankerous old monkey that does not have enough good sense to wither up and die." He looked even more smug and excited than he had the last time.

Guang caught the ball in his hand and set it carefully down in his lap, never moving his eyes from Lau Yuan nor the cup from his hand. "Why do you say this?"

"That's what the abbott said just the other da-"

"Lau Yuan, come closer."

Lau Yuan rose from his cushion and shuffled closer to his teacher.

Guang reached up and hit Lau Yuan over the head with the wooden cup. "Go and bathe, so the water will dislodge the chunk of earth inside your head. Foolishness! I am surrounded by worthless idiots. Jing! Do you have any of -"

"Cakes, yes." Jing rubbed the back of his neck. "I think I do."

Guang rose slowly to his feet and hobbled over to the table. "I despair of ever teaching that fool anything." He picked up one of the cakes and took a bite, his expression quickly changing to a more crafty one. "Perhaps a steady supply of these cakes would help."

Jing laughed, sitting down beside his friend. "Perhaps."
phinnia: smiling dolphin face (house/house-wilson buddhist temple)
There was a problem in the library - Jing could feel it in the air. He could also hear it in the air, because Lau Yuan was unable to be quiet and had entangled himself in a tapestry on the way toward the kitchen, and as Rou tried to help him out of it, the entire tapestry fell to the floor with an undignified thud.

Jing sighed and hid the knives away safely before someone (undoubtedly Lau Yuan and any one or more of the elders: indeed the abbott was not immune) got seriously hurt.

Rou appeared in the doorway and waited, attempting a quiet and obedient posture that was at odds with the colorful threads all over his saffron robe. Lau Yuan bounced into the kitchen behind him, and Jing glanced at the cooking fire to make certain that the cooking fire was safely banked and covered with stones.

"Master Jing-" Rou began.

"Master Guang is missing!" Lau Yuan babbled, tripping over a loose stone in the floor. He went sprawling and tore part of his robe. Fortunately Rou had managed to leap out of the way.

"Master Guang is ... missing."

"The abbott is very unhappy." Rou moved quickly away from Lau Yuan so he was not in between Lau Yuan and the fireplace.

Jing rubbed the back of his neck and sighed. "Of course the abbott is unhappy. Guang lives to make the abbott unhappy." he muttered to himself. "Come along, both of you." Jing beckoned to the acolytes. "And Lau Yuan, PLEASE be careful."

They managed to get back to the library with only minor damage (a skinned knee for Lau Yuan, bruises for Rou as he tried to evade being fallen on by Lau Yuan.) Jing sent them outside where they could hopefully get into less trouble and he starte searching through the vast room filled with scrolls and parchments.

He found Guang in a small alcove behind one of the shelves, curled up on a pile of silken scrolls. Jing shook him awake.

"Why did you wake me and not even bring me any food?" Guang replied irritably.

"You were asleep. And I was reluctant to go near the kitchen fire for fear that Lau Yuan would push me into it."

Guang thought about this excuse for a moment and decided it was acceptable. "Nonetheless, you did wake me up. I was practiing meditation."

"You were practicing naps."

"I was practicing napping meditation. Similar to the process used by our brother monk who sleeps."

"The abbott is most displeased." Jing sighed. "Again."

"That is unfortunate." Guang shrugged. "My plan is not yet working."

"You have a plan?" Those words were sometimes more dangerous than Lau Yuan with a sword.

"I am assisting the abbott in achieving enlightenment. As soon as he no longer becomes annoyed by me, he will be enlightened."

Jing thought about this for a moment, decided there was truth in it, and reached into the folds of his robe to remove some plums, one of which he handed to Guang.

Guang took a bite out of the plum in Jing's hand and smiled at Jing's confused expression. "The fruit always tastes better from your hand."

"Thank you." Jing replied. "I think."
phinnia: smiling dolphin face (house/house-wilson buddhist temple)
Jing pressed his hand to his eyes wearily, letting his fingers drift up over his lightly stubbled head. Guang was coming into the kitchen, and he was smiling. The last time Guang had smiled was when he had successfully beaten a very rich and very well respected man at Go with one hand literally tied behind his back. That had been bad enough, but most of the smiling had not begun until Guang had told the rich and well respected man that his strategies were less organized than a band of monkeys pissing on each other and that the stones had obviously fallen onto the board from inside his head. The abbott was most unhappy; Guang spent the next several days grinning and being unexpectedly nice to Rou. Rou had then come to Jing wondering if Guang was ill or had taken leave of his senses.

It was a troublesome week. And it looked like another troublesome week was about to begin.

"Jing!" Guang hobbled over, leaning heavily on his cane: often a bad sign due to the pain he suffered, but he was still smiling.

"Are you in need of anything, my friend?"

"Come with me! You must see this."

Jing had no idea how Guang could move more swiftly than he, especially given the pain due to Guang's leg injury, but it was always so. He finally managed to catch up near the library doors.

"I have a new acolyte." Guang explained cheerfully, pushing the door open.

"I thought you were not taking any more acolytes. You said they were all useless idiots that couldn't find inner peace if they were sitting on it."

"This one is different. Look." He pointed into the yard, where a young boy was following Rou around like a faithful dog. "Watch him. He has already burned himself on the cooking fire and had a dozen parchments fall on him, and he has only been here since this morning. Observe." Guang cleared his throat and shouted toward the courtyard. "Lau Yuan! Say hello to Jing."

"Hello Jing!" Lau Yuan waved enthusiastically, kept walking, and fell over the drying lines, getting himself hopelessly tangled. Rou attempted to help him up and tripped, getting them both even more tangled. Guang laughed with great abandon, striking the ground with his cane.

Jing shook his head, but he was also smiling.
phinnia: smiling dolphin face (house/house-wilson buddhist temple)
more of the silly monks. I like them. <3s

"What is today's lesson, Master Guang?"

"Today's lesson is this; everything is illusion. Except for the food I can smell coming from the kitchen. Go, Rou, and tell Jing that I am not well."

"Are you ill, master?"

"Do not trouble your feeble brain with such things, I am certain the strain would kill it, poor creature. Merely do as you are told. And tell Jing my malady would respond favorably to those flat cakes he made last week, the ones with the nuts in them. On no account should he bring gruel, as the very sight of it will make my illness worse."

"Are you certain I should leave you?"

"If you do not leave now I may become deluded and hit your floppy head with my cane. Why is your hair so very floppy, Rou? It is unseemly for a monk to have hair such as yours."

"I will speak to it immediately, master Guang."

"Do nothing of the sort. Why are you still here, when you should be fetching Jing and my cakes? Go, go."

Rou nearly ran over Jing in his haste to get out of the room.

"Master Guang is ill!" Rou babbled, his hands fluttering like plum blossoms in the wind.

"Ah yes, I'm sure." Jing replied. His whole demeanor was calm and settled, but his dark eyes twinkled with mirth. "Run along, Rou, and do not worry. I will care for master Guang. I have every reason to believe he will be much improved after lunch and perhaps meditation with our brother monk who sleeps."

"I will be off lecturing my hair if you should come to need me." Rou replied, and ran toward the courtyard.

Guang was calmly waiting in his garden.

"I brought you some cakes." Jing replied, rubbing a hand over the back of his neck. "Rou is off ... lecturing his hair? Are you certain he is well?"

"I am never certain about anything." Guang stuffed a cake into his mouth. "Except that your cakes are the most delicious of all."

"And that Rou is a scatterbrain." Jing watched the acolyte run around the yard.

"Also that."
phinnia: (moon)
More adventures in my House-as-the-worst-monk-ever monastery au. They have their own tag, if you're new here. <3

It was midafternoon and Guang was lying in the courtyard, playing with his cup-and-ball toy. A shadow fell across his face; the shadow was cast by Jing, who was blocking his sunbeam by rudely standing in it.

"The abbott is looking for you." Jing scolded, his hands on his hips.

"The abbott is always looking for me." Guang replied. "The abbott seems to think I should speak to the common people. I have tried, but the common people refuse to acknowledge my superior wisdom. I have enough trouble getting through to Rou, and his head is merely wooden while theirs are as boulders of the mountain."

"I see humility is not one of your stronger points." Jing sighed and rubbed the back of his neck, sinking down to sit on the grass beside his friend.

"It is always valuable to recognize failings." Guang agreed, tossing the ball in the air again.

Another shadow fell across them, and a yell echoed over the courtyard.

"Rou, why is your head yet again in the space taken up by my ball?"

"My mistake, Master." The acolyte hardly flinched. "A thousand pardons, again."

"That does seem to often be the case."

"Au Rong is here to see you, Master."

"Has he not left for his journey into the forest?" Jing inquired.

"I have asked him to come here before he begins his quest. Send him in, Rou, if you can find the way."

Rou left the courtyard and returned with Au Rong. The older monk was dressed for travelling; his head was freshly shaven and the holes in his robe were neatly mended.

"Farewell, old man." Au Rong bowed a small sarcastic bow from the edge of the courtyard. "I have learned much from you."

"Come closer." Guang murmured, his hand sprawled weakly over his eyes.

Au Rong shuffled forward.

"Closer."

He bent down. "Is something ailing you, Master Guang?"

Guang sat up and hit Au Rong sharply on the forehead with his knuckles. "Off with you."

Au Rong scowled and left with a flourish, rubbing his bald forehead.

"What was that for?" Jing asked in a tone of disbelief.

"When he returns he will be enlightened." Guang rose to his feet and scooped up his cup and ball toy again. "I wished to reprimand him once more. Have you brought rice for me? The kitchen's offerings always taste much better from your bowl."
phinnia: smiling dolphin face (house/wilson-yay!)
more monks, of course. once again a real koan, although slightly adapted. for the rest of this sometime-silliness-House AU, click on the 'monastery au' tag...

It was a windy day in the mountains: there was snow on the breeze, Jing thought. It was probably best to get the wet clothing inside before it turned cold.

"Rou," he asked, "would you please help me with the washing? I'd like to get it inside, before it snows."

Rou was startled at Jing's politeness - after a month he had become accustomed to the brusque nature of his teacher - but nodded and set aside the materials he had been sorting for Guang.

"Do you think the wind is moving, or the clothes?" he asked Jing as they carefully took the robes down from the drying line.

Jing gave this a moment's thought. "I think the clothes are moving."

Rou shook his head in quiet determination. "I think the wind is moving."

"I think your minds are moving." Guang replied from his meditative pose on the balcony. "Although I am not sure about Rou. His mind is small and probably too sickly to do so."
phinnia: smiling dolphin face (feathers/wings)
The koan that Guang cites is actually a real koan. It seems very House-like in its sentiment.

There were several wealthy donors who wished to build a new wing on the monastery. They were very rich and well-respected community men that had been inspired toward spirituality by Guang's legendary intellect.

They wished to meet with the great monk, but he was nowhere to be found, and they became enraged. The abbott regretfully had to return their generous donation.

When Jing went to the scholar's rooms later, he found Guang sitting cross-legged in the middle of the floor playing checkers with Rou. (Guang was winning, of course. Jing had suspicions that he frequently cheated at checkers, but had never caught him.)

"The abbott is most displeased." Jing stood with his hands on his hips in the doorway.

"I believe I heard something about that." Guang replied, his voice as bland as last week's rice gruel. "I saw him scraping and bowing to those wealthy donors."

"You saw him?"

"Of course. Rou is too much of an idiot to play checkers with the entire day, after all. He has no concept of strategy." Guang sighed deeply. "I am attempting to teach him better, but he is terribly slow at it."

"Why did you not say something?"

"I have become enlightened on this issue."

"How have you become enlightened on this issue?"

Guang's smile was crooked, and his blue eyes sparkled in the light of the candles. "The world is vast and wide: why do you put your clothes on at the sound of a bell?"

Jing raised his eyebrows.

Guang nodded firmly, once, and hopped one of his dark smooth pebbles over several of Rou's lighter ones. "Boy, you are indeed an idiot if you didn't see that coming. Set up the stones again. You need instruction in this."
phinnia: smiling dolphin face (house/chase-annoyed i'm still here)
Right. So [livejournal.com profile] seularen suggested this be a series, and now I have two monks in my head and ... yeah. (and yes, I know these aren't the traditional 'noble truths'. I just like this particular way of reading it.)




Jing was able to discern from the shouting that Guang had a new student. It was inevitable, if slightly unfortunate, that this should happen again: the legend of Guang's scholarly pursuits had spread far beyond their small monastery, and many seekers thought that the beauty of this intellect should carry with it a sweet disposition.

Everything was illusion. This was the first lesson they learned from Guang.

"This is Rou." Guang tossed the ball from hand to hand and nodded toward the eager, floppy haired boy seated at his feet. "He is probably an idiot, but we shall see."

Jing smiled apologetically. The boy seemed to take no notice, and maybe that was a good thing.

Guang tossed the ball toward Rou's head. It bounced off, and Rou looked at the older monk dumbly.

"First noble truth." Guang intoned. "In this life, pain is inevitable. Certainly if you continue here it will be."




Jing brought Guang's bowl of rice and vegetables to him at their afternoon meal. He had found that if he didn't bring Guang dinner he would forget to eat, or eat rice directly out of Jing's bowl and claimed it was more savory. Guang was nowhere to be found, but Rou was there cataloguing Guang's silken scrolls.

"You're still here."

"There is a corrolary to the first noble truth." Rou smiled, running his fingers across the scroll. "Suffering is optional."

"He may not be an idiot." Guang shouted from the library courtyard where he was taking in the sun. . "We shall see. It depends on what he does with my scrolls."
phinnia: smiling dolphin face (little delerium)
(largely inspired by [livejournal.com profile] nightdog_barks, because it seems like the kind of thing she'd do. Only really makes sense if you've read refugee from the eightfold path.)

(a long, long time ago ... in a galaxy far away ... or, well, ancient China)

Two monks, one older, one younger, were cleaning the monastery kitchen.

(Well, Jing, the younger, was cleaning the kitchen. Guang was tossing a ball in the air and dodging Jing's dirty looks as he completely failed to be helpful about cleaning the kitchen.)

"You know, I almost didn't take the vows?" Guang tossed the ball into the pot that Jing was cleaning, splashing water back into his friend's face.

Jing sighed - he did that a lot when Guang was around - and mopped his face with the edge of his robe. "Oh?"

"I almost became a healer."

"What made you change your mind?"

"My father was a healer."

Jing nodded, wiped the last of the water out of the pot, and massaged the back of his neck. "And the monastery would have lost quite the gifted scholar."

"And your bedroll would be terribly cold at night."

"Also true. But the Buddha does counsel against personal gain." Jing smiled, caught the ball and tossed it out into the courtyard. "Come on: we'll be late for meditation."

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phinnia

January 2013

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