This months issue of The National Geographic Magazine has a feature called Buddha Rising. – ‘Out of the monastery, into the living room’. There are some excellent photos including one of the Shasta Abbey monks on Alms Round in Mount Shasta, California. It’s a good picture. You might want to take a look when you browse the magazine racks.
One of the wonders of the internet is that The National Geographic, and other large magazines, publish content on their web sites not included in the paper version. If you go to the National Geographic and then go to the Slide Show: Buddha Rising you will see, towards the end of the show, an interesting picture. It’s of monks in Thailand, I think, who are knotting kesas (robe given at ordination) around the trees! Apparently the monks are performing tree ordinations. There are a number of monks in Thailand who are embracing the lives of trees, as well as the lives of their human supporters. Do a search on ‘tree ordinations’ if you want to find out more. Here I go on trees again…!
Anyway, if you have a fast internet connection, and even if you don’t, there is a lot of interesting background material to be found. My favorite is the author, Perry Garfinkel in the section ‘On Assignment’, writing about his meeting with the Dalai Lama.
“Somehow his calm made me feel calm, like a hand-to-hand tranquility transfusion. The man had me at ‘hello’.”
He was obviously quite disarmed.