Early Morning Rounds

Early Morning Rounds
A picture of another group of monks going on alms round during my own early morning alms in Intakkaw, Myanmar. November, 2013. One of my many reason for being a monk, besides Nibbana, was not touching money and collecting food with a monk's bowl among other things. Life is good this way.

I remember telling my grandfather that I wanted to become a monk and beg for food when he was in the hospital fighting cancer. While I should have used a different expression for "begging," that was how it came out and he was not so happy to hear that. (And talk about bad timing….) Nevertheless, he was happy to know I would travel the globe. He recovered before I left home, but had a relapse later on. I am sure he enjoyed my stories from Kauai, Hawaii and I was only five months into my trip which did not have an end or destination in mind.

When he first learned about my travel plans, he told me a story about a man he spoke to long ago on his docked boat who was sailing around the world. He said to him, "You know, you've got a lot of balls to do this.". The man replied, "You know, I would have a lot of balls not to do this."
The final words from "Father and Son," a song always dear to my heart comes to mind.
"I know, I've got to go away."

During my travels, I was being evacuated from Fiji during the uprising of 2000 because the place I was staying at got torched with a fire bomb. When I called my folks to let them know I was OK, my uncle answered my mother's cell phone at the hospital, which was strange. I found out my grandfather had relapsed and he did not want me to know so that I would continue with my journey. Everyone was there saying their last goodbyes and I was sort of connected there too. He died the next day, but part of his personality survives in me today.

Photo by Kappiya Thinh (Vietnam) and heavily doctored by me with Google Photos app.

Article by 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.