Going family visiting tomorrow, so no Monk Radio until at least next week.
That's about it. Just another "I'm not dead yet" post for y'all.
Be well :)
Home again; the colder weather suits me fine. Watching the sun come up from my desk on the second floor of the monastic residence. Spent the early morning hours meditating then writing out the introduction to Pali grammar in Thai. TIL that taddhita are for the purpose of using fewer words to say the same thing and kitaka use suffixes to tell saadhana or kaala.
The trip home went smoothly. The Beijing airport gets upvotes for free hot and cold water and downvotes for strict transfer security and no wifi for foreigners. My good friend Ven. Guttadhammo picked me up at the airport.
At the monastery, there were several packages waiting, including a cpu fan to replace the old one, though now it seems the graphics card may be shot as well. There was also a nifty bluetooth keyboard someone sent, so I'm typing comfortably using Blogger on my mobile phone. Thanks for everyone who sent stuff; quite amazed at how great the wish list has been for that. Blessings of external and internal wealth to you all. Someone ordered a little usb thumb drive that connects directly to the phone, but it arrived broken; trying to order a replacement, but the company says they need the order number. If you have it, please send it along.
Too many projects on my plate, as usual, but instead of feeling overwhelmed, I feel useful. Will try to set up a video studio in the basement soon, start cranking out Dhammapada vids et al.
The trip is at the front of my mind; please, if you're a man and mentioned coming with me, and are still interested, send me another email so we can arrange to travel together. I suppose actually I could travel alone, but the USA is a bit scary for that, honestly (having been jailed once already just for being a monk...) Anyway, that is an option, so I guess it's on either way. Next step is to start calculating times and figuring out dates.
Translations are still underway (I hope!) and chances are good we'll have twenty languages by the end of the year. Thank you, thank you, thank you everyone who took / is taking part in this project. It's pretty amazing what people from all parts of the world can come together and make happen.
Book two on how to meditate will come when it comes... not sure if I'll actually get around to it with all this Pali stuff every day, but we'll see. Someday it will happen.
Lots of good stuff in the works. If you're in Ontario and want to come to meditate in Stoney Creek, we welcome you. Rooms, food, teaching, what more could you want?
I don't normally answer comments to my posts, just in the interests of sanity, but if you're wondering about the illusory nature of Thailand, as a country it exists only in our minds. Saying that Thailand or Canada or even this body is an illusion is perfectly in line with the Buddha's teaching:
pheṇūpamaṃ kāyamimaṃ viditvā, marīcidhammaṃ abhisambudhāno.
chetvāna mārassa papupphakāni , adassanaṃ maccurājassa gacche.
Realizing that this body is like froth, penetrating its mirage-like nature,
plucking out Mara's flower-tipped arrows of sensuality, go beyond sight of the King of Death!
-- Dhp. 46
This doesn't mean all is an illusion; physical and mental aspects of experience are very real.
All for now. Be well and bring peace to yourself and others!
Sitting in a beat-up old arm chair in the Bangkok airport waiting for our gate to open. Soon the illusion of Thailand will be replaced by the illusion of Beijing, Toronto, and finally an illusory Cambodian monastery in Stoney Creek, if I don't get stranded somewhere in the meantime.
Thailand was nice; able to see the good side clearer now that the bad side is at arm's length. I'm sorry to see how deeply divided the country is, but not surprised; the harmony and smiles were ever but an illusion.
What did become clear is how important it is to keep one's focus on one's own universe - the experiential world inside oneself and in the relationships in which one partakes. Goodness isn't an option, helping others not a luxury. When one helps others one helps oneself; when one helps oneself, one helps others, as the Buddha said.
A note about the trip to Florida, I don't have a confirmed assistant yet, so those of you male people who mentioned your interest, hopefully at least one of you are able to join me. There's also at least one woman who plans to join the trip, so we may have a bit of a posse of sorts. Bring your own tent. More on the trip once I've actually figured out how such a trip works bus-wise and such.
Flying again, landing April 2nd, 1810h, Pearson, Terminal 1, Air Canada flight 32.
I've been blessed with so much in this life. Good health, a well-functioning mind, a solid family and wholesome upbringing filled with good friends and teachers. I was blessed to find my way to the practice of the teachings of a fully enlightened Buddha, blessed with good instruction in English, blessed with the privilege of ordaining as a Buddhist monk in a foreign country, blessed with the support and tutelage that has kept me alive and prospering in the monastic life.
Ajaan Tong Sirimangalo has been the greatest of all blessings of my life. I can't begin to express what his presence in my life has meant. He is the best reminder to me of what great luck I have coming into this life. Whereas people talk about how difficult it is to meet him, almost every time I've tried he was somehow available. This morning was no exception; just as he was preparing to leave, I arrived and was able to not only offer him a set of ten translations of my booklet, but join him and five other monks for lunch at a mansion near the airport before getting on a plane back to Bangkok.
Not sure what I did to deserve all of the goodness in my life, but I sure as heck know I've got a lot of work to do so as to not lose it. Ajaan asked me again for 111 languages, which he hopes we can finish by September. Ahem. Maybe he'll settle for twenty?
Staying in a small hut in a jewelry factory near the airport for the night. The surgery was delayed until today but went off without a hitch. Tomorrow I have to go back to see the doctor but so far so good sight is a little blurry but don't need glasses anymore. Yay. Much thanks to all of those who contributed to my operation, as well as those who sent their well wishes.
May you all be well.