I only intended to sit and have tea with a former student who happens to be a monk. She was my student in Gyeongsan but has recently relocated to the city where I reside these days, Iksan. She could not meet with me so one of her fellow monks offered to entertain me during my visit.
Things turned into a nice mini adventure.
Outside in the courtyard I was overcome with a sense of peace and delight as I listened to her chant and watched nature dance before me.
Also, I pondered the meaning of pacifism today as I sat outside the temple waiting for my host to complete her prayer. It was just a thought. That is what Buddhism is to me — pacifism. Meanwhile I enjoyed the break from work and my usual surroundings — the university campus. The wind blew. The insects moved about. Everything moved because it was all alive. Simply being there was nice because it contrasted the static nature of everything in my room. (As I write this I am surprised by how still things are within these walls. I cannot see it, but my dead skin cells are falling. And my hair is growing. Haha! My refrigerator buzzes. Unless I open the windows, nothing moves here.)
Pacifism — (noun)
1. opposition to war or violence of any kind.
2. refusal to engage in military activity because of one’s principles or beliefs.
3. the principle or policy that all differences among nations should be adjusted without recourse to war.
Am I a Buddhist? Nope. Am I a pacifist? Not completely. I am totally a human being who has been exploring Korea and some parts of Asia, thus far, in hope of finding an adventure and making new friends. I am That Brotha in Asia. I found an adventure and made a new friend today.
At the temple, we met, had lunch, talked, and then went for a ride.
She drives, shoots hoops, has a cellphone and even goes shopping.
I was always surprised to learn how modern technology has not missed the likes of monks. I chuckled to myself once when I saw a monk wearing Adidas sneakers while talking on a cellphone. Then there was the other time I saw a monk driving a nice car. I think it was a Benz.
During the ride, we talked about work, life, and what I needed from the store. We were on our way to Lotte Mart. She decided she would pick up some things for herself and offered to buy me some necessities. I had not asked.
Grateful sums up today’s adventure. Serendipidity works well here too.