Anyone walking about Chinatowns in America with observe statues of a stout fellow carrying a linen sack. Chinese merchants call him Happy Chinaman or Laughing Buddha.
This Hotei lived in the T'ang dynasty. He had no desire to call himself...
SO I AM HELPING
P'ang Yun (740-808) was a well known Chinese Zen Layman. He was once selling bamboo baskets. Coming down off the a bridge, he stumbled and fell. When Ling-chao saw this she ran to her father's side and threw herself down. " What are you doing!" cried the Layman. "I saw Papa fall to the ground, so I am helping," replied Ling-chao. "Luckily no one was looking," remarked the Layman.
(Ruth Fuller Sasaki's translation)
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