Monday, July 02, 2012


A group of monks going about the their begging rounds startle my daughter from her breakfast.  Her eyes are upon my face, but here ears are pointed completely outside, taking in the 'Hoooooooo!" as it rolls up the street.  

The monks' chant takes me back 12 years to my own begging rounds while I was staying at Hosenji up in Kameoka.  As a country temple, it is pretty self-sufficient in terms of things like rice and veggies and herbs, but the monks needed to beg once a week in order to buy tofu.  Being July, it was a hot torturous afternoon, the conical sedge hats doing little to cool a body wrapped in multiple black robes.  On the way back to the temple, we stopped at the supermarket so that the head monk could buy the tofu.  When he returned, no amount of detachment could've prevented the smiles from crossing our faces when we saw that he'd also bought us all ice cream cones.

On the turntable:  Tim O"Brien, "Traveler'

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