A bit of negativity on the last post from a couple of sources... one friend suggested moving to Canada is actually "inconsiderate", something that was a bit of a wake up call in it's own way.
I guess my pov is quite far from that of many people... I spend most of my life giving and taking; many people spend most of their lives buying and selling, I think... it is quite different. I had someone offer to buy us a house, then put up several requirements, then say they weren't just going to "throw money at" whatever I thought was right when I rejected the requirements. I guess from a business point of view it would make little sense to not be in control of your resources. In Buddhism it's called "giving a gift out of faith", which of course requires faith (confidence) in the recipient.
I'm not looking for handouts... jeez is it so difficult to see that I work for a living? Inconsiderate to respond to the man who showed up at my door at 2 AM looking for a place to ordain? Or the woman who is trapped in a Christian home, or the multiple people who are relocating just to be closer to my host family in Ontario, or my wayward novice in Washington state, or my parents? Forgot to mention it in my previous posts, I guess.
What I am looking for is people who want to give the way I try to give - give up, that is. Give up bodily unwholesomeness, verbal unwholesomeness, and mental unwholesomeness. Giving is a means of overcoming stinginess in the mind - a nasty form of greed - and greed in general. I hope there are people out there who would like to put as much of their resources into the meditation practice as I do, but I am quite certain I have not been requesting people to do so.
If some people are offended (sickened even) by a group of people pouring all of their energy into cultivating a community of meditators, then I guess I don't have much to say to them - it certainly isn't my own desire to teach that is leading me to work towards such a goal...
I guess too that there are many people out there who feel that I'm not qualified/ready to be a teacher. This is something I can't agree to - call me a bad monk, a bad meditator, a bad person, and I might shrug it off, but I know what I can do, and teaching is one of those things (I did spend a solid year at the feet of one of Thailand's greatest meditation masters - five hours a day, every day, at. his. feet). That's not bragging, and hey, maybe I'm wrong... I'm certainly not the best teacher out there. But there are literally hundreds of you out there who are guilty of stoking the belief - how many people have told me I've literally changed their lives? How many have I seen gone through the most incredible transformation because of me doing what I was taught to do by my teacher? I'm not proud of my ability to teach - it's certainly not the goal of my life - but I am pretty confident in it.
So, this is just an attempt to present this monk's point of view, that yes, giving is part of Buddhism - sirimangalo.org, for example, is a gift from all of us, to all of us. That no, I/we are not looking for money, land, a free ride; we are looking for enlightenment. All the rest is details, and we all know what fallen angel resides there. I am most thankful for the people who have supported me personally, and the people who have offered to support me in Ontario, but they are doing it as much for themselves as for me... we know what we want, and we are working towards it.
It is never easy to receive negative feedback; no matter how much one puts up an enthusiastic front, even the Buddha went away to the forest when the monks rejected his advice. It saps one's energy, I think, whether it gives rise to negative emotions or not. Nonetheless, I think one law of the Internet is that it is easier to give negative feedback than positive feedback, and so. given the humong-gant-normous amount of support I receive for what I do, I feel blessed to have such a group of friends and supporters as I do, and still have a lot of energy on my part. I think it's going to be a great year, and just don't want such negativity to fester and put a damper on our good deeds. I look forward to meditating with you all in the next months. That is, after all, what we're here for, isn't it?
That and feeding the trolls, I guess :)