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Xinglin in Chinese is translated as the Forest of Apricot Trees. This was an extraordinary 'forest' that came to be used to represent a skilful doctor who emitted warmth and hope, much like the upright and noble spirit of the highly skilled Chinese Physician, Dong Feng who lived in ancient China. It also depicted the earthly spirit of the peasants who reciprocated Dong's kindness with great respect, appreciation and praise.

Certainly, this is a heartwarming story. It is not impossible to carry out the moral of this story if both doctors and patients are willing to give a try.

In The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Medicine, it states that - "A physician needs to possess a moral conscience, ethical conduct, and a compassionate attitude toward those in need of attention. When doctor and patient are in a state of harmony, the illness will not linger or become terminal."


During the rule of Three Kingdoms, there lived a renowned Chinese Physician, Dong Feng. He was a great physician showing compassion and love for his fellowmen. He cured many people of their illnesses, but refused any monetary rewards. When his grateful patients insisted on showing their gratitude, he advised them to plant apricot trees in his house compound. Those cured of a serious illness planted five apricot trees each, while those with minor ailments planted one each. Years later, Dr Dong's residence was surrounded by one hundred thousand of apricot trees which formed a huge forest.



At harvest time, Dr Dong would exchange the ripe fruits of these apricot trees for grain. Apart from the grain he kept for his personal consumption, the rest were given away to the poor peasants. This plantation soon earned a name for itself, the Forest of Apricot Trees. Known as Xinglin in Chinese, it came to be used to represent a skilful doctor who emitted warmth and hope, much like the upright and noble spirit of the highly skilled Dr Dong. It also depicted the earthly spirit of the peasants who reciprocated Dr Dong's kindness with great respect, appreciation and praise.



In our modern world, it is impossible for any doctor to give free treatments but they can still cultivate love and compassion for their patients. When patients meet such humane doctors, they should learn how to appreciate their kindness. Try to visualize the Forest of Apricot Trees, a great forest encompassing the warmth of compassionate doctors and grateful patients.

In The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Medicine, it states that - "A physician needs to possess a moral conscience, ethical conduct, and a compassionate attitude toward those in need of attention. When doctor and patient are in a state of harmony, the illness will not linger or become terminal."




Note: The above drawings were contributed by CancerStory's volunteer Mr James Lee. Copyright belongs to CancerStory.com.


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