|Posted by Webmaster on December 6, 2010 at 1:39 PM|
Photo: The road to Pichest's.
It was back to Pichest's for class on Monday. We learned, we talked, we practiced.
In the evening we visited the Buddhist temple Wot Suan Dok, where we participated in a monk chat.
I went in expecting to see a group of people quietly arranged around a serene monk's bare feet in a temple. Instead I walked in to something far less formal--monks and visitors sitting at tables in a meeting room, with a small altar tucked into a back corner.
I had the pleasure of speaking with this young monk from Laos. We discussed snowball fights, gratitude and a lot of ground in between.
I chatted with a young monk from Laos. It was so very interesting...for nearly 90 minutes, we discussed everything from mindfulness to snowballs to how to swim in the ocean most safely. I felt close to tears of gratitude for his insights at some parts of our discussion, and close to tears of laughter as we shared amusing stories from our lives.
This young monk joined the monastery at 14, and after ten years was considering leaving. In Buddhism, leaving the monastery is normal. Monks may leave and return a total of three times, but they must give strong reasons for each.
This man received his BA in English from the university associated with the monastery, and has various ideas about his life...running an organic farm, teaching English combined with spiritual guidance...and his dream to play in the snow. Of this he said, "If I should die and never have played in some snow, I think this would be very sad for me indeed."
...and so, for me the lesson in that moment was perhaps to remember to find gratitude when, in a week and a half, I leave tropical paradise and return to the snows of Minnesota. Snowball fight, anyone?