Kauai, Meditation

It’s Only Half The Story

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Yesterday, I had spoken about how someone took our pictures and who said something like, “I just wanted to tell you (her hand was now over her heart) how much …what you do means to me. I really want to thank you for what you are doing!”

She drove off in her electric car that sounded like a vacuum cleaner. A few moments later, the same vacuum cleaner showed up again, and then she asked if she could take our picture. We said, “No problem.” And then she did not hear us correctly, so we needed to repeat that it was OK. We posed for her, but she asked us to turn around so she could snap a picture of us in action. So, we turned around and started wishing loving kindness to the same house again. Loving kindness has no limits.

Something like this happens to us all of the time. I have tried to search for “monks Kilauea”, but never saw anything show up from the public and searchable posts. A local friend of ours in Kauai happens to be “friends” with Ursula and sent me a screenshot from his Facebook feed.

It was funny that earlier this week, Nandanie, the wife of the person who sent me this picture gave us food for the first time in over a month as a “Drive-by” donor. She asked, “So people are still not catching on and giving you food huh?”

I replied and told her about the many people who sincerely appreciate us, the thank-yous and the countless waves and Shaka signs sticking out of car windows, but they do not really know what we are _really_ doing. That same day before Nandanie asked us about our progress, a driver slowed down and asked us if we were “spreading light.” I explained what we were doing which also happened to included loving kindness in front of each house. She was happy, and then a few moments later she drove by again tried to offer us money. If they do not ask what we are doing, I do not feel comfortable telling them.
I continued, and explained to Nandanie, “Unfortunately, a “wrong assumption” is floating around the island about us that we are _only_ blessing the houses and nothing else. Well…I guess it is partially right since we do bless the houses.” As time goes by, people will not ask us anymore because they (think they) know what we are doing, but not always. People are always curious. As we stay longer and longer, people build up their courage to speak with us.

In the end, we appreciate the appreciation. We have not gone hungry yet, and it is all good fun. To be honest, we need to hang out in front of the houses to get noticed, so they will ask us, “Hey what are you doing in front of my house?”. It does work sometimes, but not often enough. People still do not know what our bowls are for and still think they are “sweet drums.”. To keep our minds fresh, to keep our minds purified and somewhat of a tradition of the Ancient Mahathera Subhuti, we wish them loving kindness in front of each house. It is lots of fun to do and it is time well spent.

In the end, it is not so bad if they only get half of a story.

With loving kindness,
Bhikkhu Subhuti

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About Bhikkhu Subhuti

Bhikkhu Subhuti is an American Buddhist Monk with roots in both Sri Lanka and Myanmar Forest Traditions. He currently resides in Myanmar but his heart sometimes floats back to Kauai, HI where he spent six months in 2015.
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