Wednesday, May 04, 2011

and the point is...

Yesterday, I was reminded why there is sirimangalo.org and why there is Sirimangalo International. It came in the form of a meditator who flew all the way from Europe just to stay in one of our caves, based on the sketchy information that exists on the website.

It seems it's just been the lack of any visible fruit of things like websites and non-profits that brought back the thoughts of closing down. It's hard to see the point of fulfilling all the technical and bureaucratic requirements of running a meditation centre when there are no meditators.

Now that there's a meditator, problems like why MySQL won't start automatically or why our treasurer won't accept invoices in Sri Lankan rupees seem less significant. It's one thing to say that what you are doing is helping people in far away lands, it is another to have them land on your doorstep with nothing but a backpack and the wish to purify their mind.

Never mind that all we have to offer is a damp cave and almsfood; women aren't even supposed to stay in caves, I'm told - when the head monk comes back, there'll probably be a big to-do. Maybe they'll even kick her out (send her to Kanduboda?). Not without a fight, I should think...

Anyway, there you have it; a reason to keep the website, and a reason to keep the non-profit. I guess the thing is, I've been there myself and know what it's like to show up at a monastery without any expectation of acceptance, looking for nothing more than a place to sleep, food to eat, and guidance on the path to enlightenment. If one expects to find such things oneself, it seems proper to provide them to others who are in need. That, and it's nice to have people around who are also meditating.