Kauai Update: Lihue

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Things have recently changed

Things have recently changed in my life. I have now moved to Lihue. Things were going well at the place where I was at before in Kilauea. The owner was happy with what I was doing for the community and I was happy and fulfilled with what I was doing for the community as well. Unfortunately, the owner’s son came for a visit. In short, he said, “I want to visit a monk. I don’t want to live with a monk.” He pays the remainder of the bills from what the renters do not cover and what he says goes. Although we did several thousand dollars of work on his land to pay things forward, that was long forgotten and I was out. I stayed there for 4½ months and it was nice while it lasted. We are still friends and I was there a few days ago for a visit.

Within a few days, I shifted locations and spent a month house sitting at a Princeville donor’s house. It was absolutely wonderful! The last couple of weeks, I made it a point to walk to “sunset lookout” almost everyday. Also Hideaway Beach was also a place to go to as well. As the name implies, it is a hidden beach very few people know about. I was very grateful for the house sitting gig and it allowed me to stay exactly one year in Kauai.

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The house gig was only for one month and I was making plans to leave the island exactly one day and one year after I first arrived. With just a couple of weeks left on the island, I told my new supporters from Myanmar (who live in Kauai) that I was going to leave the island.

“Why?”, One of them said..

“Because I don’t have a place to stay anymore.”

“You can stay at our place.” He said.

“For that to happen, you would need to modify your condo so there are no internal doorways and that would not be possible.”

“It’s possible.” He said. “Let me know what we need to do and we can arrange it.”

I agreed to try it out for one month and came by a little while earlier to look at the place and see what needed to be modified to his condo and then I was off to Oahu for one week which was one of my backup plans to stay near Kauai until the land we want comes back on the market or something else that is magical happens. I’ll talk about that visit in a later post.

I came back to Kauai in mid-April and moved into my new place. When I looked inside, I noticed a new bed and also a new floor. The place was also freshly painted. They refurbished the whole area where I am now staying. I have the master bedroom with a toilet and shower. When Myanmar people do things, they do things right. It is very common for Myanmar people to have a “Buddha Room” or “Pungyee (monk) Room” inside their house. Most are not according to vinaya for monks to sleep there… but this one was done to spec. I am very grateful for what they did. However, it did not stop there. Everyday there seemed to be a new thing or two that they would buy for me without my asking. Now my room is filled with lots of stuff I’d rather not have but they are my donors and they do everything with aloha. Now things are more under control as far as donations are concerned.

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I live in the city and on a major city road. Although I can hear the cars whizzing by, I have found that my meditation has been quite good. Why? I’m not sure. I ask myself that question too. My guess is that things are easier for me now. I don’t have to go searching for my food like I used to. There is a Thai food shop within a very short walk. If monks could do a “hop, skip and a jump” I might be that close. I go there once a week. My donors have a sushi shop and I can go there any day I need food. Not only that, they are eager for me to go there and often strongly request me to go. “Ashinpaya… please don’t go out today.. please come to our shop.” They say this all the time.

These days, I intentionally make my life difficult. I go for alms in Kilauea one day per week, and I have also been to Hanalei Big Save too. I also go for alms at the local Farmer’s Market at KCC. I’ve gone for alms locally here too and met a Cambodian lady. As I have said before, “The more convenient my life is, the less fulfilling it is.” This is because I do a lot of teaching when I am out and about. We have also moved the meeting at Sukhothai to Sundays so more people can come. Never the less, life is easier. So with proper food, and shelter, things have become more relaxed. I don’t need to spend 5 or 6 hours searching for food like I used to and perhaps it has affected my meditation in a positive way.

I have been in Kauai for a little over a year now…and this is really the first time I’ve really slept in a place that has solid walls. Even when I had a kuti in the Botanical Gardens, I quickly opted to sleep in a tent at night. So things are stable and we can continue to wait for things to develop. Day by day, things have been getting better. Now that I have a stable place, I’m trying to invite a vinaya monk from Laos to come here. We will share a room, but it will be good to have two monks on the island. How do the donors fell about that? They jumped the gun and already bought another bed.

May you all be happy and share in the merits!

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