I made a promise (see the end of the previous post), and I shall deliver.
But first a little background:
First of all, everything that follows in this post is, believe it or not, 100% true. Anyway, my childhood friend, for various reasons, has ended up in Tibet. With Buddhist monks. I talked to him about it a few months ago, and, naturally, I was curious about – well, everything. Upon discovering the facts, I felt that the old adage was reaffirmed:
The more things change, the more they become completely bizarre:
[Note: I present here, the conversation, unaltered, except to correct spelling and some grammar, to protect the innocent, and to exclude sections that are unnecessary.]
Me: Anyway, so what’re your days like?
Me: I mean, what do you do?
Ben: Wake up, go to language lesson at 9:30, attend local event/lecture until about 1 w/lunch, and then, specifically for me, hang out at a monastery for the rest of the day with my 12 year old American monk friend.
Ben: Today I have to write a paper on it.
Me: “12 year old American monk friend”?
Ben: his name is T. Gyatso
Ben: or Brenden.
Me: Is the monastery hang-out session by choice or requirement?
Ben: he’s been a Tibetan Buddhist monk since he was 8
Ben: choice, we all have to focus on something.
Ben: one person’s doing Tibetan writing, another interviewing refugees
Ben: ‘m teaching monks to juggle
Me: Oh, yeah – we all go through a Buddhist monk stage at one point or another.
Me: I’m just a late bloomer.
Me: (Am I being offensive? I hope not.)
Ben: Depends on who you say it to
Ben: its kind of hard to offend me.
Ben: I told my group leader it was my goal to find the Dalai Lama and beat him up to see if he would still smile.
Ben: She didn’t like that,
Ben: so its a subjective concept
Ben: and I’m proud to say that I’m only half kidding about the monk juggling thing
Ben: like, its not my main focus
Me: I got it.
Ben: but I really am doing it
Ben: already taught T.
Me: I wouldn’t expect anything less of you, Ben.
Ben: He’s got the 3 ball cascade up to about 50 catches.
Wow. This conversation left me speechless. I hope it has a similar effect on you, dear reader.
Or that it induces you to send me large sums of money.