Wednesday, April 28, 2010

a remainder

Don't wait until everything is perfect to be happy, but accept imperfections, shortcomings and hardships. Happiness is to be found beyond that, within the persent, not in perfect conditions.

It seems that some of us who went to the forest last weekend come back with a cold. Does that make the forest less beautiful? or the joy of being there less experienced? No, certainly not. It is the time for resting now ...

I didn't mention, that I share the meditation room here with another woman, means, I share the sleeping place with another person and even throughout the day we spend a lot of time both in the same room. Not a single sighn of panic arose, when it occured to me that I will have to share room nor am I bothered in any way by sharing it, My sleep is deep and calm. Not long ago I would have had panic, anger, aversion against a person who has no aversion towards me, I would most probably have just left the place finding an excuse eventually. But I'm just fine.
Not that I am a friend of room sharing now but I notice happily that I really did overcome this neurosis, with a lot of gratitude for the Buddha and his Dhamma. Meditation changes ...

Monday, April 26, 2010


since some days i stay in north california with a Bhikkhuni and a Samaneri. Short a while after my arrival a laywoman who wants to ordain one day came here. We spend some harmonic days together in the town residence. For the weekend we went further north to the redwood forest. wonderful land, redwood trees in the montains at the coast. there is a future Bhikkhuni training center, some people have cabins or caravans hidden in the forest. We were invited to stay in the cabin of one of the Bhikkhuni's friends. It was a beautiful cabin on a beautiful spot. a little cold, though but we had warm sleepingbags.
The next day we went to visit to another place, where some people who want to ordain want to donate their place. a marvellous place in a valley a little further away from the coast. They have a very good ready to use center, with rooms for guests, meditation hall, etc, etc.. but those who will receive this center as a donation will have to have strong supporters o/and managers have to organize a lot of retreats ...
Well, it was a good place to dream about having a meditation center in the forest.
see if I'm fortunate enough to get there again.

Friday, April 23, 2010

going on

well, yes, ok, grace and the others I'll continue writing ...
although there is not much to say these days. I am staying with a Bhikkhuni, a Samaneri and a laywoman. The place is small but nice, people are nice, can meditate moderate but very peaceful.
evtl. we go to stay in a forest for some days tomorrow.

am reading the Kevatta sutta on like it very much. just give "Kevatta sutta" in googel, if you are interested in reading.

Monday, April 19, 2010

still at my sisters.
face is sunburned from the last walks at the beach and reading outside.
was chatting and skyping with friends the last days.
had some kidney problems, am taking antibiotics and drink lots of teas or hot water, it's already ok again but have to finish the treatment. It's really heavy and influencing my mind. For some hours after taking the medicine I'm drowsy and dull.
I didn't meditate much these days.

Tomorrow I'll go and see a Bhikkhuni with whom I'm in e-mail contact since last summer.

Last couple of day's I received e-mails of concerned friends. Thank you for your concern and your caring thoughts. Here is actually not much to worry about. I'm fine, thinking more than necessary, too much, though. Not only sadness or thoughts of disrobing arose, as well peace, being happy to be a nun and so on ...
mind is unstable, thoughts are coming and going, I watch them and write the most significant down, not thinking that any of you friends may worry. I probably should not write all this, knowing that some of you worry, but since this is still my diary, ...
But obviously what I write sounds, when you read it, much more serious then it is in reality.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

at my sister's

a shed in the Garden, equipped with a futon bed. Brother in law made it himself with some friends. It has chinks and holes everywhere and the wind is blowing trough but it's nice and with 3 blankets it's warm enough. Was the presidential suit now it’s the nun’s refuge.
My sister and brother in law are really cute and try their best to help me keep my rules. Not that they were really interested in Buddhism or rules for nuns, but they offer food - without them kneeling down, without a blessing in Pali, but with all their love and my good wishes for them. Interestingly my brother in law is the foremost in offering.
My dear sister "warned" some of the neighbors that I might come around with my alms bowl. But as I'm not thinking of settling here I don't do so.
They live in 5 minutes driving distance from some beaches so we went for a walk on a beach yesterday and today through town to another one. People here are open and do not stare at me as they do in L.A., some smiled friendly and one said namaste and nodded. We were looking for fitting shoes and found some perfect nuns shoes on sales - 90 Dollar, they remained in the shop. My sister does not allow flip flops and wants a good quality shoe that fits in size for the nun.
The first time since 1 year and 9 months without Thai people and monastery around. I'm keeping rules while trying to get to know my family which I haven’t met for over 10 years, which in case of the kids makes an immense difference, the nice was just born when I saw her last, now she is a young lady. No ambition of taking part in "worldly" life arises, I observe it, observe interrelation, interaction feel much love but no desire to live sch a life myself.
Although I'm considering to just disrobe instead of becoming Bhikkhuni. I'm soooo tired of this monastery circus. Sooo tiered of being measured and scaled, being put in the Mae Chii box, pressed in the female role. I was not suffering of being female for many years, now I do. In samsara one is expecting to face jealous companions, envious "friends", backbiting, lying, hearing rumors about oneself etc. and I became a nun to get away from this. (I didn’t mention that I heard rumors that I own a car and were driving out of the monastery with it every day, and that I told the monks the could call me Pi Maha, whatever that is, something whith what I wanted me to put over the monks.)
Now suffering is arising because I'm still defiled and attached, but that's how it is, how “I” am.
There are two options, two ways of giving up: to try to get rid of it, to escape from it by following the wanting for sense pleasures or to become an Arahant and get over it. I try to change it by meditating a lot, but it seems as if my paramis are not strong and balanced enough to get over a certain point, I come to see my shortcomings, my faults and mistakes, the worlds unsatisfactoryness and uncontrollability see and experience suffering up to a point where I have the impression “I can not endure this anymore”. Sometime tears are falling but mostly I’m smiling somehowand don’t feel really unhappy, just that I can’t endure this all any longer. And then I escape into stupid thoughts, fill the brilliant open wide with mundane affairs.
The attachment to wanting is deeply rooted in this mind, so subtle (and gross, as well of course). It drives me mad that I can't get over it.
Of course there are moments of wonderful bliss of a kind that I did not know before, but the defilements and attachments are not to oversee. Sensitivity and compassion are there in a huge amount (and I always had both more then I wanted) but there is no defense or counterbalance. Today I saw a bird with an injured leg, so it could hop just on one and my stomach was cramping because I felt the bird’s pain.
“Close the sense doors”, was I told. One of the best advices ever, no doubt. “Develop paramis” said someone else. Inevitable on the path to enlightenment, for sure. Only I still do not know how to manage both. When I try to close sense doors, the mind turn numb, cold and unattached, there is no parami. When there are the paramis, the sense doors are wide open and I’m extremely vulnerable and suffer from the world’s suffering. That may be so because I could not develop enough patience and wisdom and that may be so because I’m not mindful enough on the present moment.
If I really would disrobe now, I would be a mental and emotional wrack for long, torn back and forth between arroganz and fear on one side and (misled) love, (rigid) moral shame and (overreacting) compassion on the other – both as result of half-knowledge. There is no other way, Phalanyani, go to your cushion, and then eyes shut and go through.

being female

at the new place, in this quiet environment politics were going on.
The secretary, when we were still at the Temple, dropped at one of the first days a comment by the way how much work she has and that the former woman that the Ajaan brought helped in the kitchen, and that now she had to do the work in the kitchen all alone.. It was said in a way that I understood clearly that she ment: "go to the kitchen and help".
for some reasons I didn't do so. As I eat almsfood myself, it doesn't seem proper to me to prepare any food, also I cannot serve monks and I'm not supposed to do chores for householders, according to the rules.
For her it was quite clear, "she is just a Mae Chii and Mae Chii's are supposed to work in the kitchen". When we went on alms round it was very hard for her to bow or kneel down giving food to me. She had the same problem that I have with certain monks when it comes to prostrate to them, it's like having swallowed a broomstick, the back doesn't want to bend.
She brought up the discussion, why I cannot serve myself with drinks, the Ajaan's attendant asked me later, because I keep the 311 Bhikkhuni rules and even if i were a Mae Chii, I were not allowed to take what is not given, that's why."
The attendant was superupset and worried and confirmed that he is standing there, backing me up.
When we moved to the new house I brought my luggage to a room downstairs, no window, not to lock, but anyway, I thought, it's just for some day's, so what. Then a nice old lady, which seemed to like me from the beginning, told me to take the perfect room, which I mentioned earlier. The perfect nuns room. I felt so sorry to take it because I thought it will come to trouble if I stay in there, but there was no way to talk with somebody to change it.
Two day's later the secretary saw me in this room and I heard her asking the attendant in Thai: "why does she stay in this room?". A day later there must have been a disscussion among the people again. The attendant bowed and prostrated when he gave me something to drink. "You don't need to do that", I said. Yes, but I respect you, he answered extra loud.
The next day a lot of people came to visit. It was the birthday of one of the women. After I received my alms food some people prostrated 3 times at my feet, the secretary stared at it in anger and tried to pull me away on my arm. instead of following her right away I stretched my arm out and waited until they finished prostrating, otherwise I would have been very impolite. I came out and wanted to clean my bowl and things I used, someone took it and said,"I'll take care of it." A woman came running to me and yelled: "Oh, when you did the blessing, I was so moved, you convinced me, I want to be like you, I want to be Mae Chii". After a second of hesitation she flung her arms around my neck. I asked her: "So, when will you ordain?" "Not yet, but I will, she was close to tears.
Then we went to see Ajaan. After a while she decided it was time to finish the visit and told everybody to prostrate. I didn't join in. Then one girl, whom I met only once before, folded her hands before her chest and said: "Krap Mae Chii", Prostrate to the nun". Some more then the half of the women did, the others didn't. I found it exaggerated and was happy that I said earlier that people don't have to prostrate to me.
Some people seemed to need to talk to Ajaan, so i decided not to stay and ask my questions, prostrated and went off.
Next day, which was my last but one day at the house before I went to my sister's, the nice old Lady told a woman not to kneel down when I give my blessing, she looked irritated, and the Lady explained in Thai that I'm not a monk. Same happened the last day, she told the attendant not to kneel. He brought a try with food to my room and prostrated and if it would have been possible he would have crept under the carpet, concerned and sorry as he was. "It's ok, I'm fine", I said. He could not look at me when he walked out.
Ajaan mentioned that I will have to stay in another place than the perfect nuns room in the quiet place, it might be needed for meditators. (Someone told me before that, the secretary will come and stay in that room beginning of May, so I was prepared to hear I can't stay.) But another solution is found and I could do all the visits that I wanted to do which would be just fine, I could go to Germany earlier or back to Thailand or whatever, I don't care so much to be honest. I hope to stay at a place where i will be accepted.
What knocked me off for quite some hours was that he suddenly said that I should stay with those people who ordain me if I go to get full ordination with someone. That's back to the beginning. I have to consider ...

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

hans in luck, Grimm brothers

please enjoy the most favored fairy tale of my childhood:

Some men are born to good luck: all they do or try to do comes right– all that falls to them is so much gain–all their geese are swans–all their cards are trumps–toss them which way you will, they will always, like poor puss, alight upon their legs, and only move on so much the faster. The world may very likely not always think of them as they think of themselves, but what care they for the world? what can it know about the matter?

One of these lucky beings was neighbour Hans. Seven long years he had worked hard for his master. At last he said, ’Master, my time is up; I must go home and see my poor mother once more: so pray pay me my wages and let me go.’ And the master said, ’You have been a faithful and good servant, Hans, so your pay shall be handsome.’ Then he gave him a lump of silver as big as his head.

Hans took out his pocket-handkerchief, put the piece of silver into it, threw it over his shoulder, and jogged off on his road homewards. As he went lazily on, dragging one foot after another, a man came in sight, trotting gaily along on a capital horse. ’Ah!’ said Hans aloud, ’what a fine thing it is to ride on horseback! There he sits as easy and happy as if he was at home, in the chair by his fireside; he trips against no stones, saves shoe-leather, and gets on he hardly knows how.’ Hans did not speak so softly but the horseman heard it all, and said, ’Well, friend, why do you go on foot then?’ ’Ah!’ said he, ’I have this load to carry: to be sure it is silver, but it is so heavy that I can’t hold up my head, and you must know it hurts my shoulder sadly.’ ’What do you say of making an exchange?’ said the horseman. ’I will give you my horse, and you shall give me the silver; which will save you a great deal of trouble in carrying such a heavy load about with you.’ ’With all my heart,’ said Hans: ’but as you are so kind to me, I must tell you one thing–you will have a weary task to draw that silver about with you.’ However, the horseman got off, took the silver, helped Hans up, gave him the bridle into one hand and the whip into the other, and said, ’When you want to go very fast, smack your lips loudly together, and cry “Jip!"’

Hans was delighted as he sat on the horse, drew himself up, squared his elbows, turned out his toes, cracked his whip, and rode merrily off, one minute whistling a merry tune, and another singing,

’No care and no sorrow,
A fig for the morrow!
We’ll laugh and be merry,
Sing neigh down derry!’

After a time he thought he should like to go a little faster, so he smacked his lips and cried ’Jip!’ Away went the horse full gallop; and before Hans knew what he was about, he was thrown off, and lay on his back by the road-side. His horse would have ran off, if a shepherd who was coming by, driving a cow, had not stopped it. Hans soon came to himself, and got upon his legs again, sadly vexed, and said to the shepherd, ’This riding is no joke, when a man has the luck to get upon a beast like this that stumbles and flings him off as if it would break his neck. However, I’m off now once for all: I like your cow now a great deal better than this smart beast that played me this trick, and has spoiled my best coat, you see, in this puddle; which, by the by, smells not very like a nosegay. One can walk along at one’s leisure behind that cow–keep good company, and have milk, butter, and cheese, every day, into the bargain. What would I give to have such a prize!’ ’Well,’ said the shepherd, ’if you are so fond of her, I will change my cow for your horse; I like to do good to my neighbours, even though I lose by it myself.’ ’Done!’ said Hans, merrily. ’What a noble heart that good man has!’ thought he. Then the shepherd jumped upon the horse, wished Hans and the cow good morning, and away he rode.

Hans brushed his coat, wiped his face and hands, rested a while, and then drove off his cow quietly, and thought his bargain a very lucky one. ’If I have only a piece of bread (and I certainly shall always be able to get that), I can, whenever I like, eat my butter and cheese with it; and when I am thirsty I can milk my cow and drink the milk: and what can I wish for more?’ When he came to an inn, he halted, ate up all his bread, and gave away his last penny for a glass of beer. When he had rested himself he set off again, driving his cow towards his mother’s village. But the heat grew greater as soon as noon came on, till at last, as he found himself on a wide heath that would take him more than an hour to cross, he began to be so hot and parched that his tongue clave to the roof of his mouth. ’I can find a cure for this,’ thought he; ’now I will milk my cow and quench my thirst’: so he tied her to the stump of a tree, and held his leathern cap to milk into; but not a drop was to be had. Who would have thought that this cow, which was to bring him milk and butter and cheese, was all that time utterly dry? Hans had not thought of looking to that.

While he was trying his luck in milking, and managing the matter very clumsily, the uneasy beast began to think him very troublesome; and at last gave him such a kick on the head as knocked him down; and there he lay a long while senseless. Luckily a butcher soon came by, driving a pig in a wheelbarrow. ’What is the matter with you, my man?’ said the butcher, as he helped him up. Hans told him what had happened, how he was dry, and wanted to milk his cow, but found the cow was dry too. Then the butcher gave him a flask of ale, saying, ’There, drink and refresh yourself; your cow will give you no milk: don’t you see she is an old beast, good for nothing but the slaughter-house?’ ’Alas, alas!’ said Hans, ’who would have thought it? What a shame to take my horse, and give me only a dry cow! If I kill her, what will she be good for? I hate cow-beef; it is not tender enough for me. If it were a pig now –like that fat gentleman you are driving along at his ease–one could do something with it; it would at any rate make sausages.’ ’Well,’ said the butcher, ’I don’t like to say no, when one is asked to do a kind, neighbourly thing. To please you I will change, and give you my fine fat pig for the cow.’ ’Heaven reward you for your kindness and self-denial!’ said Hans, as he gave the butcher the cow; and taking the pig off the wheel-barrow, drove it away, holding it by the string that was tied to its leg.

So on he jogged, and all seemed now to go right with him: he had met with some misfortunes, to be sure; but he was now well repaid for all. How could it be otherwise with such a travelling companion as he had at last got?

The next man he met was a countryman carrying a fine white goose. The countryman stopped to ask what was o’clock; this led to further chat; and Hans told him all his luck, how he had so many good bargains, and how all the world went gay and smiling with him. The countryman than began to tell his tale, and said he was going to take the goose to a christening. ’Feel,’ said he, ’how heavy it is, and yet it is only eight weeks old. Whoever roasts and eats it will find plenty of fat upon it, it has lived so well!’ ’You’re right,’ said Hans, as he weighed it in his hand; ’but if you talk of fat, my pig is no trifle.’ Meantime the countryman began to look grave, and shook his head. ’Hark ye!’ said he, ’my worthy friend, you seem a good sort of fellow, so I can’t help doing you a kind turn. Your pig may get you into a scrape. In the village I just came from, the squire has had a pig stolen out of his sty. I was dreadfully afraid when I saw you that you had got the squire’s pig. If you have, and they catch you, it will be a bad job for you. The least they will do will be to throw you into the horse-pond. Can you swim?’

Poor Hans was sadly frightened. ’Good man,’ cried he, ’pray get me out of this scrape. I know nothing of where the pig was either bred or born; but he may have been the squire’s for aught I can tell: you know this country better than I do, take my pig and give me the goose.’ ’I ought to have something into the bargain,’ said the countryman; ’give a fat goose for a pig, indeed! ’Tis not everyone would do so much for you as that. However, I will not be hard upon you, as you are in trouble.’ Then he took the string in his hand, and drove off the pig by a side path; while Hans went on the way homewards free from care. ’After all,’ thought he, ’that chap is pretty well taken in. I don’t care whose pig it is, but wherever it came from it has been a very good friend to me. I have much the best of the bargain. First there will be a capital roast; then the fat will find me in goose-grease for six months; and then there are all the beautiful white feathers. I will put them into my pillow, and then I am sure I shall sleep soundly without rocking. How happy my mother will be! Talk of a pig, indeed! Give me a fine fat goose.’

As he came to the next village, he saw a scissor-grinder with his wheel, working and singing,

’O’er hill and o’er dale
So happy I roam,
Work light and live well,
All the world is my home;
Then who so blythe, so merry as I?’

Hans stood looking on for a while, and at last said, ’You must be well off, master grinder! you seem so happy at your work.’ ’Yes,’ said the other, ’mine is a golden trade; a good grinder never puts his hand into his pocket without finding money in it–but where did you get that beautiful goose?’ ’I did not buy it, I gave a pig for it.’ ’And where did you get the pig?’ ’I gave a cow for it.’ ’And the cow?’ ’I gave a horse for it.’ ’And the horse?’ ’I gave a lump of silver as big as my head for it.’ ’And the silver?’ ’Oh! I worked hard for that seven long years.’ ’You have thriven well in the world hitherto,’ said the grinder, ’now if you could find money in your pocket whenever you put your hand in it, your fortune would be made.’ ’Very true: but how is that to be managed?’ ’How? Why, you must turn grinder like myself,’ said the other; ’you only want a grindstone; the rest will come of itself. Here is one that is but little the worse for wear: I would not ask more than the value of your goose for it–will you buy?’ ’How can you ask?’ said Hans; ’I should be the happiest man in the world, if I could have money whenever I put my hand in my pocket: what could I want more? there’s the goose.’ ’Now,’ said the grinder, as he gave him a common rough stone that lay by his side, ’this is a most capital stone; do but work it well enough, and you can make an old nail cut with it.’

Hans took the stone, and went his way with a light heart: his eyes sparkled for joy, and he said to himself, ’Surely I must have been born in a lucky hour; everything I could want or wish for comes of itself. People are so kind; they seem really to think I do them a favour in letting them make me rich, and giving me good bargains.’

Meantime he began to be tired, and hungry too, for he had given away his last penny in his joy at getting the cow.

At last he could go no farther, for the stone tired him sadly: and he dragged himself to the side of a river, that he might take a drink of water, and rest a while. So he laid the stone carefully by his side on the bank: but, as he stooped down to drink, he forgot it, pushed it a little, and down it rolled, plump into the stream.

For a while he watched it sinking in the deep clear water; then sprang up and danced for joy, and again fell upon his knees and thanked Heaven, with tears in his eyes, for its kindness in taking away his only plague, the ugly heavy stone.

’How happy am I!’ cried he; ’nobody was ever so lucky as I.’ Then up he got with a light heart, free from all his troubles, and walked on till he reached his mother’s house, and told her how very easy the road to good luck was.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

ehi Bhikkhuni

short before i left Thailand something important happened which i didn't wrote down so far. but it is one of the most important things in this life, eventually, so it should be journaled here.
A person that i respect, Bhikkhuni since long, was sitting in front of me, watched straight into my eyes while we were talking about Buddhism, monks, nuns, my aspiration to be Bhikkhuni. Almost by the way but very pointed she suddenly said: "Ehi Bhikkhuni". I nodded, she closed and opened her eyelids.
This, for me, was enough to feel ordained to feel committed. I thought of wearing my Bhikkhuni robes from then on, which i already had at that time, but decided not to do so and keep wearing the old mae chii clothes out of respect for those nuns and monks who might find this an invalid ordination and might feel offended and might feel the need to fight against. I can wait to wear the proper robes until the formal act is done, may that be possible in july.

no matter what!

a few days ago i noticed in walking meditation that the right foot is placed in an different angle than the left one and that this makes walking kind of imbalanced, although it seems i walk and sit quite upright, this is not the case. So I tried to mindfully correct the difference and walk with more equal steps. As a result new pain arouse. I know by now that when in sitting or walking changes in the common position are made it takes 3 - 5 days of strong pain, then the pain ceases and the body accepts the change.
Since yesterday the phase of strong pain is over. Some memories of the childhood flooded the mind with the last sharp stroke of pain and I was almost carried away by self pity for a while.
The knowledge that past is just past, past, past and only memory and thinking, thinking - this iis the powerful medicine the Buddha gave us to heal our minds. this together with the peacefulness of this place, the absence of construction sites and Thaipop music, the friendliness of the people makes every little now a vacation.
I'm happy to know that I can get into deep meditation when somebody breaks down walls next to me or next to a Karaoke party but it's so relaxing not to have these hardships. When I feel like ants are creeping all over me i know its imaginary because here are no ants in the room.
Working on equanimity is much easier ... Although I still do not get into real equanimous mind states. i start to understand the thai Ajahn's "more effort" - it is needed with all patience and compassion for myself - to get away the sticky twines of the net of defilements.
One of the reasons why I started to put more effort into meditating surely was that i saw that old people get back to their youth and childhood in their minds. NOT THAT AGAIN! But i already kind of meditated as a child, as my teddy bear's nose and smell as kasina, hours and hours and days and weeks. or mirror meditation, until i saw my self disappear and many many pictures of animals that i was passed in front of me in the mirror until there was nothing more, blank. my 1rst teacher wrote about me 'Daniela dreams too much' but i was not dreaming i tried to stop the rage, the rush. i sneaked out at night to run and run or ride bicicle.
Then i heard that the Buddha said there is a way out of suffering (our catholic religion teacher said so, she tried to make us think that this is absurd and people that don't want to kill insects dangerous for all civilized counties) and i swore: 'i'll find it! no matter what!'.
So, here I am trying to fulfill a little girl's vow. no matter what!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Just when I wanted to start a new determination we moved out of Wat Thai, a few days earlier then expected. We were supposed to leave on the 5th anyway because a lot of people were expected for Songkran, the Thai new year.
The change is - wow- is for the good, one might say.
We are staying here in a wonderful environment, with lots of green, quiet, a place called what sound like Tarzan. I have no idea where exactly we are, since we arrived I hardly left my room. The big house is a perfect small meditation center. It has a perfectly suitable room for a nun and is occupied by a very happy nun :o).
It has a kuti for the monk and teacher, looots of room for meditation inside and outside, only for western meditators it will not be as perfect, because sleeping rooms have to be shared. But it is marvelous. The only negative point for it now is that it will probably not be the last destination on the journey to a the meditation center. It is impermanent, yes,yes. But anyway the present moment is now and now we are here.
I have two more nights here then I go and see my sister. There a kuti in the garden is waiting for me, hehe.

One month america now. Time passes quickly. When I was not reading suttas or writing something in internet, I was meditating.
In the beginning some fears arouse, nobody likes me, I'll be sent away, old demons, even a small panic attac arouse and I could watch them silently, unmoved and they went away after very short. Mind often was like numb.
One evening during a Dhammatalk held by a Thai monk (few people there and they were chatting with each other or talking on phon, not like when Ajaan talk and everybody sits upright and listens carefully), I sat in mediation because I didn't understand a word what the monk was saying, suddenly I had pictures in mind, opening the heart and a deeeeep endless dark space opened and an unseen hand grabbed out of the depth part of my "self", held them in front of me to watch them and threw them out with effort, like in a comic strip when Donald is repairing a motor and pulls out pieces and throws them over his shoulder. A dismounting of the self started. A weird experience, really.
I was excited and scared both at the same time and my heart was beating wild for the whole night and the next day. Then Ego arouse and took over, I was not strong enough to continue the dismantling of self. First I could not notice anything anymore, blocked, when the mind had been like numb before it was now just not accessible anymore. No entrance for one who wants to dismantle self, eheh. "I" avoided to meditate as good as "I" could while i tried to not to lose the last experiances andi forced myself to sit and walk.
That's days ago.
Slowly, slowly i approach some kind of equanimity, knowing it's only possible because everything is perfect, apart from the cold which i try to take as an object of practice. One situation, when Ajaan didn't want to talk to me when I had a question in his and his attendants favor, showed me that equanimity is feeble, it took me some minutes to fight frustration down. I was about to give away the wonderful room I was given and wanted to know if it wouldn't be better if the attendant stays in it, but they didn't even want to listen to my heroic and selfless offer, and self felt misunderstood as a result.
Now I stay in this room, happy, peaceful and do my best to honor that i may stay here by using it for as much meditation as possible.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Thoughts about "The Buddha", the film

Yesterday I watched 'The Buddha' videos on PBS. Please check The Buddha, Compassion and tell me if I'm too fuzzy when I find this particular part contra productive for the right presentation to a great audience and the understanding of what Buddhism should be and how monastics should behave. At 04:00 around the Buddha is quoted: "I can give the teaching in brief or I can teach in detail, it is those who understand are hard to find" while a Bhikkhu (improperly dressed for being in public) is cutting down a living branch of a tree. Right after the sentence and the sequence is finished a Bhikkhuni is pulling out grass and digging soil. (I do not mention the 10 precept nuns here because they don’t actually break rules, it’s just my personal opinion it is not good if they do dig and cut plants)
Showing how monastics are breaking their Patimokkha rules during this quote made me think instantly: “Yes, not even monks and nuns do understand. What a shame.”
Was that the intended message of this sequence? Not that these actions without the quote would be any better …
Rules are broken, I know - but I really doubt if it is helpful for Buddhism and those who try to establish Buddhism in the west and try to keep the rules, to show how they are broken in a movie about Buddhism that claims to transport the original message of the Buddha supported by famous people like Richard Geer and the Dalai Lama.
Bhikkhus and Bhikkhunis especially from Theravada traditions are not supposed to cut, pull out or break grass or branches or any living plant, are not allowed to dig soil, should wear our robes properly when in public.
How many people will see this movie?
How can we get through to them to let them know: “Yes. There are monks and nuns and many people who do not understand the teaching of the Lord Buddha and hence rules are broken but - with your understanding, knowledge and support as lay peron and our honest, humble and diligent effort as monastics we could try to make them understand.”?
P.S.: Maybe I should add - The film is very nice and worth seeing and I’m sorry that I will not be able to watch it on the 7th.