The Traditions of the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas:
Eating One Meal A Day Before Noon and
Constantly Wearing the Sash
Two of the distinguishing features of the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas are that Sangha members (monks and nuns) always wear their kashaya sashes and they eat only one meal a day and only before noon. These practices are part of the City's tradition. The Venerable Master said,
- Eating one meal a day at noon is also a rule set up by the Buddha. If you eat and drink less, then you'll have less desire. With less desire, it's easier to cultivate. Therefore we shouldn't eat nutritious food. That's the way we do things at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. Even though it's far from perfect, we hope everyone will work hard to improve.
Men and women do not intermingle.
The Sangha members at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas wear their kashaya sash at all times and eat only one meal a day, and that before noon. At night most of them sit up and rest, not lying down to sleep. They have no social life. Men and women do not intermingle, but instead work and dwell separately, strictly upholding the precepts. They would never go outside to perform Buddhist rituals or chant scriptures in order to obtain an income. Some Sangha members choose to maintain the vow of silence. They wear a sign saying "Silence" and do not speak with anyone. There are monks and nuns who maintain the precept of not owning personal wealth and not touching money, thus eliminating the thought of money and increasing their purity of mind. What's the point of cultivating in such a diligent and careful manner? The Venerable Master constantly reminded his disciples,
- In cultivation, we have to stick to our principles! We can't forget our principles. Our principles are our goal. Once we recognize our goal, forward we go! We've got to be brave and vigorous. We can't retreat. As long as we are vigorous and not lax in ordinary times, we could become enlightened any minute or any second. So by no means should we let ourselves be confused by thoughts, and miss the opportunity to get enlightened.