Let It Grow Organic Gardens

And I resumed the struggle. -Vladimir

Sunday, October 16, 2005


Things Are Not As They Seem Part I

In town this afternoon and fiddling with a friend's computer, I once again learned how to use that funny little function that allows me to track followers to this blog.
There I discovered that twice -twice!- within the last month some poor soul somewhere on the planet (Vancouver, WA and Malta, respectively) arrived at this blog by typing Ajahn Yantra into a search engine.
Ajahn Yantra, for those of you yet to Google him, is a Thai monk who rose to prominence some fifteen years ago. Tall, good-looking and confident, he quickly became quite the celebrity and his followers ranged in the million, and were spread across the globe. He became a popular monk on the international lecture circuit. Temples were built for him as far away as Australia. He preached loving-kindness, and his warm smile and genuine manner did much to relieve the spiritual discomfort of many devotees. He was reputed to be a fully enlightened being. His reknown began to wane with accusations that he did not understand the full implications of a vow of celibacy.
I only saw him once, at the funeral of a quite different sort of monk, Ajahn Chah. He had arrived with hundreds of devotees, and it was hard to miss him. Peasants came from miles around to prostrate themselves before him. He spotted me walking across the temple one day and I was summoned to center ring. He asked me some basic questions and gave me an amulet and then I was allowed to leave. He seemed quite pleased to have been seen with a Westerner.
I forget exactly how I referenced him in a previous blog post, but I doubt it was of any significance. Whatever I said, the gods of the internet have decided it was important enough to present to any and all who Googled Ajahn Yantra.
I can't imagine anyone Googling Ajahn Yantra unless they are a devout Buddhist, are into a serious meditation practice, or are in need of a calming presence bestowing a hope of loving-kindness. Whatever the case, I can't help but think they arrive at this space in no condition to read the contents here-in. I apologize for any trauma this blog may have inadvertently caused to any Buddhist.
I used to be something of a Buddhist, myself. I was interested in self-inquiry, enlightenment and solutions to the ultimate mysteries of the universe. I sat in rooms with my legs crossed for long periods of time. I read lots of books. I traveled afar, finally arriving in the Orient. I knelt before monks and statues. I ate lots of rice.
I returned to these shores with something of a reputation. Friends and acquaintances assumed I possessed some sort of mysterious wisdom, and they probed me for it. They asked me questions and they observed my actions. My every movement supposedly contained some sort of message.
All this was unbeknownst to me. I felt just as confused and scattered as ever, but I had eaten lot of rice. I was happy enough being confused and scattered, and I was delighted to have eaten so much rice. I didn't know why everyone was staring at me. I can only conclude, now, years later, that anyone staring at me was a devout Buddhist, was into a serious meditation practice, or was in need of a calming presence bestowing loving-kindness. I hope I disappointed no one, but I fear I did. I assure you this was not my intention; I did not know what was expected of me. I apologize for any inconvenience or trauma I may have caused to any Buddhist.


  • At October 19, 2005 9:02 AM, Blogger Laurie said…

    Isn't it enlightening, though, to see how people come to your blog? :-)

    I never knew when I wrote about my blog name being inspired by a Three Stooges routine that I would get so many Google search hits from that.

  • At October 20, 2005 8:16 AM, Blogger Frank said…

    I Googled Iggy Pop and the Stooges and guess where I ended up :-)


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