Why Are The Monks Fighting Over Food?

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I cannot believe that I am writing an article that explains how the monks are fighting over food. It is very awkward to hear isn’t it? On the other hand human nature is human nature. We have six monks who sit at each table and sometimes there is not enough of the special items to go around. And that is when the fighting begins…

But it is not what you think.

It is sort of like my grandmother fighting with me over food.

“You take it!”

“No you take it!”

“Com’on, I know you want it. You take it.”

“Are you sure you really do not want to have it?”

“I want you to have it. I want to make merit.”

“I also want you to have it and make merit.”

“Hey, you over there…Do you want this..?”


and the monk at the other side of the table takes it and eats it.

And the three of us win.

*Not an exact conversation, since most of it is done in gestures since we cannot speak each other’s language, but it is fairly accurate to explain what happens. The conversation above is also a combination of several actual instances merged into one. It happens often when I eat with monks in many different places. I am sure the many monks who read this are nodding their heads and laughing at the familiarity.

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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.

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