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Before summer arrived, a few of our nuns set up a lily cultivation area around the firewood shed like previous years. However, it didn’t take them long to realize that someone’s been eating their lilies. The leaves were dotted with holes of various sizes. Upon closer inspection, they found tiny specs of red. A group of uninvited diners – stinkbugs. This troubled our nuns.

One nun took this opportunity to write a letter to the stinkbugs. The lilies were grown as an offer to the Buddha and Bodhisattvas, she said. Perhaps the nearby maple trees would be a better option. There, you’d find an endless supply of fresh grass and be shaded from the scorching sun. She even invited them to join us in our kind offer.

The son of John Robbins, author of Diet for a New America, once left a note to the fruit flies on the kitchen wall after seeing how troubled his parents were. In his letter, he’d suggested a better place for them to migrate to and even drew arrows pointing the way out. Although no one took this seriously at first, the fruit flies really disappeared the next morning.

Teacher Zhen-Ru one said compassion is the most important thing when it comes to dealing with all things. With compassion and the aspiration to help all beings, perhaps we too could cultivate kind roots and faith for the Three Jewels.