Tears Of Joy

Tears Of Joy
I had arranged for a pedometer for Sayadaw U Revata as an idea to get him to walk more. As Sayadaws become more busy and famous, they get driven in a car to where they need to speak or interview and then they sit and listen to interviews or speak for several hours. After that, they go to the next place in the same fashion. They often have willing assistants to take care of their daily duties so they can spend more time teaching. The less they are active, the more their bodies deteriorate. I call this Sayadawitis. Over the recent years, he started getting knee problems and therefore walking less and less. I was afraid his health would spiral downward, so I arranged for a pedometer to express his inactivity and to encourage more walking which pedometers are famous for doing.

With quite a lot of doing, it arrived surprisingly fast from the happy Bangkok-Myanmar network.
I promptly offered it to Sayadaw U Revata and then told him I would use it, figure it out and get a base of "normal" monk's activity then explain it all back to him. I asked him to try it for one month and he agreed.

Since it was experimental, I tried to get the donor to choose a mid-priced inexpensive model, but being from Asia, the donor bought a very expensive one with Bluetooth which has free iOS and Android apps to load and view the data. Unfortunately, it was designed to only work with a live Internet connection in order to synchronize and read the pedometer data and that is not reliably possible here. However, without the app, it still shows the daily totals and resets in the morning like a normal pedometer does. I offered him a (paper) notebook and pen and told him to use my app called "i-Write." The pedometer is small, like a watch and shows the time too which can clipped on his belt.

About a week later, I remembered to ask him about how things were going with the pedometer. He smiled and said he was using it and then I asked him about his totals. 
"What are your numbers? Three or four thousand?" I asked based on the fact that I was around seven to eight thousand after getting stable with using it.
"No," he said smiling with his triumphant hand raised in the air. "Eight or nine thousand!"
Thinking there was no other way to explain these high numbers, I said, "Bhante?  Is this because of the pedometer?" 
"Yes!", he smiled.
I then covered my face with both hands and tears started to come.  I was so happy!
He was happy too and then he let me take a tissue from his table stand.
He was wearing the pedometer while we were speaking and partially opened up his robes to show me it on his belt.  Even if he stopped using it today, it is so much merit!  However, I  think it will continue.

I am so happy.  It was a risk of course, but not much more than seeing a doctor to get a second opinion about this or that. I am very happy it all worked out.  He is writing the numbers in his i-Write record book and he likes to see the totals.

May he be healthy for many yogis to learn the True Dhamma from him.



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.