Sunday, 8 February 2015

Starbucks in Sagaing

“I once stayed at a cave in a monastery in the Sagaing Hills for some time, doing my own meditation practice. I left, and returned later after an interval of a year and a half. Literally the moment I arrived, one of the monks came running over to me waving an empty tin of Starbuck’s candy in his hands. ‘You left these last time!’ he called out to me. I can’t describe my feelings at this time. Carelessly, I had left this item in the cave instead of putting it in the trash, and the monk’s careful Vinaya prevented him from either throwing it away or keeping it himself, since this would be ‘taking what is not given’, or a violation of the second precept of Adinnadana. So he kept this trifling tin for over a year, not knowing if I’d even return, just to preserve his stainless sīla. All the time I was spending silently meditating in the cave, and this single act teaches me more about the practice than anything else.” Californian yogi, 2013