Sunday, 15 February 2015

"The Dog Barks at the Man on the Elephant"


A foreign meditator's welcome to many new villages or monasteries is often a chorus of howling hounds. This was one of the things that surprised the American Bhikkhu Cintita, who observed at Sītagū Academy in Sagaing that “to announce mealtime, someone would hit a big bell outside the kitchen with a mallet and at that time all of the Sītagū dogs… would take this as cue to point their chins skyward and howl.” In the case of dogs barking at a new arrival, eventually local residents will come over to investigate, whereupon they’ll immediately call the dogs off. And as one stays in one location long enough, it will not be this constant, daily headache, as the dogs will become accustomed to one’s presence. This non-sensical—though instinctual—dog barking is such a common feature that there is one expression, sin paw ga lu kwe haun which means “the dog barks at the man on the elephant.” It refers to exerting effort toward something that will not likely be very effective.

No comments:

Post a Comment