Meeting a Buddhist “Bhikshu”

When my friend called me before going out of town for a little while he asked me to help him to make his food offering to a Buddhist monk in Nashville. I was intrigued and kind of excited, which is why I am blogging about the experience. On the phone I commented that I have been asked to feed, pets, and water plants when friends go away – but never this.

My son’s, Ethan and Eli and I traveled to a Theravada Buddhist temple today in Nashville.

The website along with the address and event’s information may be found at thebuddhisttemple.org

There we met a Buddhist Monk and presented to him an offering from my good friend who would normally present the offering today. This friend of mine was out of town and for my boys and I it was a good opportunity to visit a Buddhist monk.

My family also gave him a small gift which Ethan made. I asked if Ethan would give him the gift – a coaster which he decorated with the word "love" in Chinese.

The monk was very kind and seemed very sincere and nice. He explained that in the Pali language "Bhikshu" means monk and that I could call him "Bhikshu"

Also he explained a couple things about Buddhist practice and tradition of the offering which was helpful. In turn I shared with him that I have been interested in Buddhism since I was around my children’s age and have studied it and had dreams about Buddhism, Buddhist temples and Buddhist monks throughout my life.

When we left I took a picture of a Chinese Church that was his next door neighbor. Incidentally, this Buddhist Monk is Caucasian. He feels very genuine at first meeting and was dressed in traditional Buddhist monk clothing. I must remark – what a wonderful age we live in where we can see in the United States, a Chinese church – right next to a very authentic – yet uncommonly pale-skinned monk of a very eastern tradition. He said he has been a Buddhist for almost forty years but a monk for not quite that long. I thought he wont mind me posting on this blog a little about our visit – although it felt presumptuous to ask for his photograph, and so there is none here.

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