Is it Begging?

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I remember when I saw my grandfather before I left the world behind in 1999 for some travel and perhaps an ordination. He was in the hospital going through the first round of fighting lymphoma cancer. He asked about my planned one or two year journey and I told him about all of the places I would travel to.  Then I said how I wanted to become a monk and that might happen near the end of the trip. He asked, “Why would do you want to become a monk?” I left out the Nibbāna part for him because he would not understand that.

“Gramps,” I said, “so I can have no money and go begging for food.”
He put his hand over his eyes in despair and that was pretty much the last words I had ever said to him.

January 1, 2017

Is it begging?
Today, on my alms round, my regular donors were not around because of the holiday (or sleeping). So when I went to my last stop with only just a soup mix and a cake, the donor started to tell all the neighbors that I needed food. Two more soup bowls of rice and a curry followed from the neighborhood. However, I still needed more food and went to another road which I usually only go down when I am need. First came some money which I refused and then came a chair for me to sit down while they found some food for me. Alms round is “never a sure thing” but it usually always works out if you put your faith in it.

There comes a time
When the blind man
Takes your hand
And says don’t you “see”?
You’ve got to make it some how
On the Dreams
You still believe.
Don’t give it up,
Because you’ve got an empty cup
That only love can fill.
That only love can fill.

An old song still left in my mind that keeps me going.
The Grateful Dead.

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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