Sunday, December 05, 2010

Going Forth

Settling down in Sri Lanka, only to be pulled back to Thailand by stray luggage, of all things. Six days, traveling with a Sri Lankan film crew (from The Buddhist). I'm pretty confident of my ability to survive in Sri Lanka; I was trying to explain what appealed to me about this place to a Sri Lankan who had lived in America for many years. She gave me the words I was looking for: "the people here are down to earth". After spending too much time with intrigue, politics and superficial deception, it is nice to meet people who are what you see in there faces. If they are mean, they show it. If they are nice, you can see right into their hearts.

Other things...

  • the food here is great; I find myself eating more than elsewhere, though of course that is probably because of the mostly vegetarian fare. Still, there is clearly not the obsession with taste that one finds elsewhere in the world; the food is healthy, simple, and plain. Just my speed.

  • The weather is nice, lots of rain. I'm told it gets much hotter in the summer but, be it the will of the gods, we will have a meditation centre by then, somewhere above the heat and mosquitoes to boot. Or at least with trees.

  • There's a library here with some of Ven. Piyadassi Thera's personal books; I'm reading a Sinhalese Grammar with an inscription from the donor to him.

  • It's peaceful here. Even in Colombo, there isn't yet the urban feeling one gets in Bangkok, Los Angeles, or even Chiang Mai. It's still jungle.

  • And it's an island. Funny how the sounds, smells, winds, rain, etc. remind me of Manitoulin Island in a way I never associated with islands...

  • And it's Buddhist. One interesting epiphenomenon that I'm sure has Sri Lankan's long-standing Buddhist government as a cause, is the great mutual respect for and by all religious people. I've been served food and given alms by catholics twice now, once by a priest himself. And you don't feel the hostility or the apparent need to convert or proselytize. They are Buddhist catholics, it seems.

I'm back on Second Life this week, with a tenuous connection to the Internet. I didn't record video of this talk but here's the audio:

Going Forth

download mp3

This file can also be found, along with this site's whole collection of audio Dhamma, on the audio page

1 comment :

  1. Shanti12:12 PM

    There are many Catholics who find that they can learn from others... and respect them, encourage them also. Not just in Sri Lanka. Glad you met some.