meeting with a buddhist monk in America
"I fell into a conversation with a balding, fifty-year old, slightly built man one evening and found that he had been a bare-foot, wandering, Buddhist monk in India for ten years, begging for his daily rice, meditating, and following as best he could the eight-fold path of the dharma. We had a few drinks together and then went back to his low-income housing flat, where a giant, five hundred pound brass Buddha sat surveying his sacred domicile. Along with the icon, he had a wall full of sacred texts, all in Sanskrit, which he had mastered during his time in the east. He gave me a pocket-sized version of Seng Ts’an’s Poem on Trust in the Heart, which I had read already and adored, and so it was a lovely gift and synchronicity at the same time.
This man was a gentle soul who had unfortunately lost most of his western vigour during his decade of surrender and alms-seeking, and therefore was having a tough go of it back in North America, where to be a sannyasin meant to live without an historical structure based on sadhus, monks, and holy men wandering around and bequeathing blessings onto all those who tossed rupees into their begging bowls. No, to be a sannyasin in North America meant to be an unwelcome, misunderstood, and guilty traitor to the rule of ‘money made is money paid’, and you don’t get nothing just by asking, you must work for it, because no one is going to believe that their karma is lessened by giving you donuts so that you can pray instead of toil. ..."
What the critics have said about Jack Haas' books:
"...very strongly recommended reading..." Midwest Book Review
"The Kerouac of the new millennium." Frank Wolf (author of Blind Bay)
"...inspires us to rediscover the mystery of ourselves..." Judine Slaughter (Express Yourself Books)
"...Read in awe." Benjamin Tucker (author of Roadeye)
"...groundbreaking..." Joanne Turner (The Messenger)
"...an embarrassment of riches..." George Fisk (author of A New Sense of Destiny)
"...poetic and stunning..." Nancy Jackson (Dog-Eared Book Reviews)
Books by Jack Haas
to see more about the books, click on the image.