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Raw at a Buddhist Temple in South Korea
Posted by: TroySantos ()
Date: May 12, 2007 07:06AM

Yeah, I know, the subject line tends toward sensationalism, doesn't it? But it does sum up a few things that are germane to this diary. I am eating more raw than ever before. I live at a Buddhist temple. Zen (or Seon in Korean langauge). I practice Seon Buddhism. And the temple is in South Korea. Thus the subject heading.

Well, I'll give a very brief summary of my life, then a brief summary of things since I arrived here. I grew up eating s**t. Really. Well, ok, not the real thing, but a close second. For years and years. Decades. Around 30 years old I gave up meat. Ever since I've longed to go vegan but have always been so weak when it comes to pastry and other s**t that has non-vegan stuff in it. Still not 100% vegan but closer than ever before. I don't know if it's that dark deep emotional stuff from my childhood or if it's something much more benign like ... who knows what. I will be here for more than a year so I expect to really come to meet my "maker" in some way. And whatever that means. I am not Christian. Never have been.

I came to South Korea for two reasons mainly. One was to make money. After 7 years in Thailand, making very little money, I had very little to my name. I had decided to return to the US to live so wanted to make some money first. The other main reason I came here was to practice Seon (Korean Zen). I taught English, like so many other native English speakers who come here, for about 7 months. Lost that job because of an incident with a student whose mother became irate. Came to the temple a little less than a month ago. First came to live and teach at the kindergarten here. I have been coming to this temple since just after I arrived in Korea. So when I asked if it were possible for me to live and teach here, I suppose one reason why I was given such a quick yes is because the abbot already knew me well enough.

After some concern about my visa and legality the abbot here asked if I wanted to become a novice. I thought about it for probably less than a minute before I said yes. Most recently it looks like I'll have to wait two months to get the documents I'll need to apply for the visa. So I'll be home in July for two weeks I guess. I'll be a novice for a year at least. I can continue if I want to.

Last thing I'll mention in this post is that I first heard about raw a year or two after giving up meat. It's been a rough life since. Rough before as well. But rough in other ways since. Nevertheless, I feel that a raw food diet makes so so so much sense. ....

I don't want to write long long posts. So I'll stop this one here and probably start up a new post in a minute.



This way is not compatible with Zen practice. This way IS Zen practice. - Dr. Doug Graham

Nothing whatsoever should be attached to. - Buddha

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Re: Raw at a Buddhist Temple in South Korea
Posted by: TroySantos ()
Date: May 12, 2007 07:42AM

I don't know the reason I'm so so attracted to pastry. Cakes and cookies and other things from the bakery. I have some ideas but really, I really don't know what is at the heart of it all. For several reasons I want to / intend to / strive to come totally free of this craving. And for anyone who knows Seon / Zen language, yeah, I know, don't want, don't intend, don't strive. Just do. Yeah yeah yeah.

I know what to do to overcome these cravings. At least, I think I know what to do. From a Buddhist perspective. And now, from a Seon perspective. But there are times when I say to myself that I just don't care. And more often than not, those pastries don't do the trick. Really, usually they don't taste nearly as scrumptious as I want them to taste. Not nearly as dribblingly fabulous as I imagine them to "be".

Anyhow. My plan is to eat 100 % raw. There hasn't been a single week however, since I've been here that I've been 100% raw, nor 100% vegan. But closer than ever. And feeling just as good for it.

When I have one little thing from a bakery, or sometimes just anything at all cooked, even if it has no flour in it at all, well, that's it, I'm gone. I tell myself that I just don't care. I'll pat myself on the back though and say that since I've been here the times that I've gone off and let myself have it have been far fewer than in the past. And, except for once, have been milder than in the past.

Enough.


A couple of nights ago, after a ceremony for someone who'd died 49 days before (I'll not go into this one but it's interesting in its own right) dinner was served to those few who'd come for the ceremony. Family I think they are. One guy comes for sitting meditation on occasion. Well, there were some things on the table that attracted me. Several but I zoomed in on three. One was a pancake sort of thing with vegetables cooked into it. Another was some battered and deep fried pumpkin slices, and the third was some peanuts made into a snack.

I'd already eaten a couple of hours before and had cleaned my teeth. I was actually really really stuffed and didn't really want to put anything else into my body. Especially something like these things that I could eat for hours even while already bloated!

So I asked to have some the next morning. "Tomorrow morning" was just the first thing that streamed out of my mouth. Had I thought about it for a momemnt, I would have asked to have some for lunch or for dinner. Anyway, I didn't say anything to the lady who makes the food about having it for lunch or dinner instead.

I went into the kitchen the next morning at 6:30 or so when she beat the stick calling the monks for breakfast. What was on the table? Four bananas and about 100 grams of kimchi! (The previous evening a couple of ladies brought a bunch of the fruit offerings out of the Dharma Hall and into the kitchen. One of the ladies gave me more fruit than a plate could easily handle. A whole bunch of bananas, a huge Asian pear, an apple, and three rather large tomatoes. I dropped the pear and one of the tomatoes because there was so much on the plate.) I walked into the kitchen with only the pear. I was surprised and not very pleased that those three things I'd eyed the previous evening weren't anywhere on my table. I spied over at the monk's table but couldn't see very well what was on his table. And I decided to not ask for those things. I sat there, eating what I had in front of me. I felt a bit dissatisfied with NOT getting what I'd actually been wanting. And sitting with that dissatisfaction. Feeling it. I asked myself if I really wanted those foods that I'd "wanted". I realized that I was fine without them. I walked out of the kitchen after a raw breaakfast (I realize that kimchi isn't 100% raw, but at least this kimchi is vegan).



This way is not compatible with Zen practice. This way IS Zen practice. - Dr. Doug Graham

Nothing whatsoever should be attached to. - Buddha

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Re: Raw at a Buddhist Temple in South Korea
Posted by: TroySantos ()
Date: May 12, 2007 07:50AM

A couple of nights ago, after a ceremony for someone who'd died 49 days before (I'll not go into this one but it's interesting in its own right) dinner was served to those few who'd come for the ceremony. Family I think they are. One guy comes for sitting meditation on occasion. Well, there were some things on the table that attracted me. Several but I zoomed in on three. One was a pancake sort of thing with vegetables cooked into it. Another was some battered and deep fried pumpkin slices, and the third was some peanuts made into a snack.

I'd already eaten a couple of hours before and had cleaned my teeth. I was actually really really stuffed and didn't really want to put anything else into my body. Especially something like these things that I could eat for hours even while already bloated!

So I asked to have some the next morning. "Tomorrow morning" was just the first thing that streamed out of my mouth. Had I thought about it for a momemnt, I would have asked to have some for lunch or for dinner. Anyway, I didn't say anything to the lady who makes the food about having it for lunch or dinner instead.

I went into the kitchen the next morning at 6:30 or so when she beat the stick calling the monks for breakfast. What was on the table? Four bananas and about 100 grams of kimchi! (The previous evening a couple of ladies brought a bunch of the fruit offerings out of the Dharma Hall and into the kitchen. One of the ladies gave me more fruit than a plate could easily handle. A whole bunch of bananas, a huge Asian pear, an apple, and three rather large tomatoes. I dropped the pear and one of the tomatoes because there was so much on the plate.) I walked into the kitchen with only the pear. I was surprised and not very pleased that those three things I'd eyed the previous evening weren't anywhere on my table. I spied over at the monk's table but couldn't see very well what was on his table. And I decided to not ask for those things. I sat there, eating what I had in front of me. I felt a bit dissatisfied with NOT getting what I'd actually been wanting. And sitting with that dissatisfaction. Feeling it. I asked myself if I really wanted those foods that I'd "wanted". I realized that I was fine without them. I walked out of the kitchen after a raw breaakfast (I realize that kimchi isn't 100% raw, but at least this kimchi is vegan).

No worse off for not having gotten what I "needed", yet, in another way, just as real, didn't really "need".

Enough.



This way is not compatible with Zen practice. This way IS Zen practice. - Dr. Doug Graham

Nothing whatsoever should be attached to. - Buddha

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Re: Raw at a Buddhist Temple in South Korea
Posted by: TroySantos ()
Date: May 12, 2007 08:10AM

I'll start teaching kindergarteners soon. I'll teach English. I'll start next week or the following week. The kids are so so so darned cute. Adorable. Even the ones who poke their fingers in my butt and run away laughing their heads off.

I don't know much about the curriculum or anything much. But, beings as this is a Buddhist temple, there is some degree of Buddhist tinge (or taint if you prefer!). The kids do a few minutes of sitting meditation. More superficially, they're supposed to bow to the Buddha images in the Dharma Hall just after entering the temple and just before they leave. They are taken to a mountain for a hike once a week. This is a tough hike for them.

There's a trampoline where they love love love to jump and bounce. They get such a hellatious kick out of it. I suppose I would too. I haven't gotten onto it. I don't know if adults are allowed, or if it's capable of handling an adult with kids on it too. I have been here nearly a month and haven't even asked about me getting on the jumper. What fun they have though. A few of the kids arrive early in the morning, like around 8:00 or 8:30 and one of the first things they love to do is jump. Even if they're alone, some of them love to jump. I wonder if American kindergartens have these. They seem to be pretty common here in Korea. I think it's a great idea.

There's a whole playground where they can play on the slide and other things.

Last thing. 20 of the little boys got their heads shaved a couple of weeks ago. And they are now wearing monk-like clothing. For one month they are practicing some "monkish" things like having virtually no hair, wearing the monk-like clothing, and the beads, and I don't know what else.

Even these kids will jump on the trampoline and do all the kid things that they all love to do.

I don't know why but the evening before the head shaving ceremony, the abbot chose me to help with shaving the kids' heads. I'd never done it before and don't know why he had me do it. I did it though and did a fair job of it I'd say.

All the food that is made here is vegan, I think. The kids drink milk though. The usual though at least it's local and seems to not be the UHT stuff. The food is, I suppose more healthful than most what they get out of the temple. Boy, to see what I've seen kids eat here. Just abominable. When I worked at the private English school, the kids would all walk in with a fistfull of junk. They'd eat that crap all the while they were there. At least I see very very little of it here.

Why do parents complain that all their kids want to eat is junk? Who gave it to them? Who is responsible for the kids loving junk? I have never been a parent [:-)] but feel that kids love junk because parents get it for them.

Enough for today. I think I'll go to the market soon.

Someday I'll post about some of the fruits here. Anyone know of Swan Lake Melons? Declicous. I'll post a picture someday. Seeds of Change has seeds. Now is the time to plant them.



This way is not compatible with Zen practice. This way IS Zen practice. - Dr. Doug Graham

Nothing whatsoever should be attached to. - Buddha

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Re: Raw at a Buddhist Temple in South Korea
Posted by: earthangel ()
Date: May 12, 2007 08:18AM

hey there troy....yay for you making a diary!!! i have seen your posts around and we are glad to have youin our section....always happy to welcome and congratulate another raw foodie on their journey and into the foruM!!!!!
so amazing the way life works and the wonderful oppurtunity you have right now!!! and so lucky for the food chef giving you raw and not what you had asked for!!! the spirits work in an amazing way and knew that you would not be content happy or physically well with the other things you had requested and acted upon it!! be happy!!!!
well take care just wanted to say hi and welcome
love earthangel
xoxoxoxoxoxo

Much peace and love!!!
EarthAngel
Xoxo

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Re: Raw at a Buddhist Temple in South Korea
Posted by: TroySantos ()
Date: May 12, 2007 08:25AM

Boy thanks. That's a nice welcome.

Everyone here knows that I eat mostly (some mistakenly think I eat only) raw. So every morning when I go to breakfast there's at least some fruit. I sometimes wonder what the lady thinks of me and my diet. She doesn't have to do much at all for me. She cooks all these things for the monks and for others. But for me, what does she do? She cuts up an apple and puts it in a small bowl and / or gives me a few bananas! Sometimes she gives me kimchi too. Love it.



This way is not compatible with Zen practice. This way IS Zen practice. - Dr. Doug Graham

Nothing whatsoever should be attached to. - Buddha

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Re: Raw at a Buddhist Temple in South Korea
Posted by: earthangel ()
Date: May 12, 2007 08:29AM

how wonderful..i am sure she loves it and thinks you are very unique and wonderful!!!! nothing but love for her guy who comes in for raw yummy healthy foods...smiling smiley....i have heard most kimchi is raw...so i think you are okay with that too haha...hmm that stuff is good..i like it rolled up with kale or collard greens!!!
no problem for the welcome...always to excited to see someone so wonderful as yourself come to the diary section!!! i have read many a posts and think you are a wonderful person from what i have read and learned!! and we are glad to have you here!!!
looking forward to hearing more of your adventure
love earthangel
xoxoxoxoxoxo

Much peace and love!!!
EarthAngel
Xoxo

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Re: Raw at a Buddhist Temple in South Korea
Posted by: earthangel ()
Date: May 12, 2007 08:31AM

oh hey...have you ever read up or tried Reiki?? that is why i am up haha...i have been reading it for hours now lol..i am soo interested in it...I was just wondering since i had read that it is not one specific religion based..but originated with buddhist....so iw as wondering if you had heard of it or tried it??
thanks
love earthangel
xoxoxoxoxo

Much peace and love!!!
EarthAngel
Xoxo

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Re: Raw at a Buddhist Temple in South Korea
Posted by: la_veronique ()
Date: May 12, 2007 01:30PM

hey troy!

LUVvv reading about your super cool adventures as a zen monasterian
yeah, those little pancakey vegetable things u were mentioning
i've had them in my past life (heh heh)
let's just say that there are better things to fantasize about ( heh hehsmiling smiley

i feel like bouncing on a trampoline now
u know what they are good for?
doing FLIPS!

yep
coolness

neat- o u are a novice
how grand to be taking it all in

s. korea sounds like a beautiful country

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Re: Raw at a Buddhist Temple in South Korea
Posted by: Elakti ()
Date: May 12, 2007 07:45PM

Fascinating! Hello Troysantos...what an interesting thing you're doing--- And it seems it is a good environment and ambience to embark on a raw journey. Well, it all sounds highly transformative to me.

That was interesting : your expectations of the doughy things being available and then you got that mountain of fruit instead! Mmmmmm.

How I understand your cravings. And how I also ruminate about the source of this pathological and addictive nature of mine...and the most difficult thing about raw for me is this side of it...something deep inside that has this hunger for sugar fat starch. As I said in my journal, I "have it so bad" that I cannot mess around with the ingredients AT ALL in any shape or form. Croutons and a little cheese became pizza and then the cheese became ice cream and then the croutons/pizza dough became cake. I'm not kidding. A crouton and a sliver of cheese is just pizza in a minor key and then a fall headlong into pastry.

So I am returning to what I know is my natural way of eating--All RAW. I was so happy when I was there-some time back-and I am going to forge ahead and at the first sign of trouble I cannot figure out I will go to a rawfood coach. I do not want to turn back again. I love rawfoods and feeling healthy and calm and energetic. It's wonderful to eat simply and simply eat, without all the contaminating cravings and pathologies. I got a glimpse of that...and then hit another level of emotional detox, which I didn't get through. This time I am going to, dang it!!!

So---keep posting about your journeys! smiling smiley

Best wishes and Enjoy your Food!
--Elakti

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Re: Raw at a Buddhist Temple in South Korea
Posted by: earthangel ()
Date: May 12, 2007 08:21PM

Just stopping in to say hello and see how your day is going!! and to say that you are fantastic and doing so well!! keep up the awesomeness in your life..you are a truly amazing person!! and i am soo happy you joined the diary section so we can chat with you more too!!!!
love earthangel
xoxoxoxoxo

Much peace and love!!!
EarthAngel
Xoxo

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Re: Raw at a Buddhist Temple in South Korea
Posted by: Inaia ()
Date: May 13, 2007 02:13AM

Hi Troy. Congratulations on your new journal. Hope it will help bring insight in to yourself as mine has to me. I am in Tokyo and spent some time in Seoul singing. I went to a Buddhist temple restaurant in Insadong as much as I could. i was vegan but not raw yet when I was in Korea. I LOVE Kimchi1 smiling smiley Korea is a magical place (as is Tokyo). I look fwd to hearing more about your process & adventures.


www.inaia.com

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Re: Raw at a Buddhist Temple in South Korea
Posted by: earthangel ()
Date: May 13, 2007 06:38AM

Oh you both make me want to travel to all these places soooo much!!! i hope you are enjoying your time over there and know how special the time is smiling smiley
love earthangel
xoxoxoxoxo

Much peace and love!!!
EarthAngel
Xoxo

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Re: Raw at a Buddhist Temple in South Korea
Posted by: pakd4fun ()
Date: May 14, 2007 12:59AM

I just glanced in this section of the board and saw your journal. Great to read about your interesting life.

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Re: Raw at a Buddhist Temple in South Korea
Posted by: Monark ()
Date: May 14, 2007 01:14AM

Welcome to the journal section Troy smiling smiley . Blessings to you on your journey - sounds fascinating ! Looking forward to hearing more about it smiling smiley .

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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Receive rebates on items you already buy anyway....
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Re: Raw at a Buddhist Temple in South Korea
Posted by: earthangel ()
Date: May 14, 2007 05:47AM

hey there how was your day?? just checking in to say hello and see how your lovely adventure was going...take care and enjoy the day!
love earthangel
xoxoxoxox

Much peace and love!!!
EarthAngel
Xoxo

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Re: Raw at a Buddhist Temple in South Korea
Posted by: Anonymous User ()
Date: May 17, 2007 01:51AM

Namaste

indeed kimchi is raw unless they add the little shrimp to it - it is so easy
to make as well but make sure you wear rubber gloves - you take chinese cabbage -
sprinkle it with salt & red peppers - then put a plate over it and place a weight
on top so that it presses the cabbage down. next day fresh kimchee. the salt
draws the juice out of the cabbage and of course the red pepper flakes spices it
up.

Om

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Re: Raw at a Buddhist Temple in South Korea
Posted by: earthangel ()
Date: May 17, 2007 08:06AM

yes that is an awesome tip!!! thanks...hey troy where did you go buddy? hope all is well!!
take care
love earthangel
xoxoxoxoxo

Much peace and love!!!
EarthAngel
Xoxo

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Re: Raw at a Buddhist Temple in South Korea
Posted by: Anonymous User ()
Date: May 18, 2007 04:13PM

I read here off and on, but I am going to jump at asking you a question since you are buddhist and raw like me. From a buddhist standpoint, I often wonder if eating raw is a form of attachment and clinging. Isn't it true that in some monasteries the monks, etc... just pretty much eat whatever is put in front of them. For me, I cannot understand how any one could be buddhist and eat animals, but I know some buddhists are vegetarian and some are not. How do the people at the temple feel about your "special" diet? What do you think about eating raw and attachment?

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Re: Raw at a Buddhist Temple in South Korea
Posted by: Elakti ()
Date: May 19, 2007 03:21AM

Are you there, Troysantos? We are taking over your journal, LOL!
...do you feel like you've come back to a surprise party?!?

Hope all is well.

Elakti

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Re: Raw at a Buddhist Temple in South Korea
Posted by: earthangel ()
Date: May 19, 2007 10:33AM

Hey hun...how are things going??? hope all is well with you in South Korea!! let us know how life is going for you!!!
love earthangel
xoxoxoxoxo

Much peace and love!!!
EarthAngel
Xoxo

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Re: Raw at a Buddhist Temple in South Korea
Posted by: TroySantos ()
Date: May 20, 2007 12:41PM

earthangel Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> yes that is an awesome tip!!! thanks...hey troy
> where did you go buddy? hope all is well!!
> take care
> love earthangel
> xoxoxoxoxo

Yeah yeah yeah. I know. I don't get onto the internet that often. I don't use the computer that often either. I don't have a connection in my room, there is a lot of work to do here, and I feel uneasy about using the computer in the office, and about bringing my computer into the office and using it there. For various reasons I feel these ways. So, yeah, I don't often post. I know. I am looking for ways to get more access. Just found this place where I feel more comfortable so I may use this place to get on more.

It's been real neat this past week. I've been nearly all raw. And people are talking and pretty impressed it seems. The lady who makes food gave me an apple and a small yellow melon (which I love) this morning. I was putting my bedding out to get some sun this morning after my breakfast. She made a noise to get my attention from the kitchen, she held out a bowl with the two pieces of fruit in it, I walked over, took them out of the bowl, said, "Thank you" in a friendly way, she grinned, repeated me with a chuckle to her voice that I rarely rarely hear. So, this was a real fine way to start the day.

Yesterday was pretty cool too. Worked part of the morning in the garden. Worked just as hard as anyone. Took a late lunch like the others. I had gotten a bit hungry around noon but didn't want to "wimp out" (!) so I hung on until they broke for lunch. Then went and had three of those little yellow melons (Seeds of Change has them and calls them Swan Lake Melons. They're delicious). Then a lady came over and gave me some watermelon. Then I went and ate the leaves off of a "weed" that I pulled out of the ground. Delicious nutty flavor. Only one other person knows this plant to be edible. Incr-edbile!

Well, I worked just as hard as anyone yesterday, all raw. Then in the evening, between meditation sits, I introduced a little yoga. The groans I heard were indicative of the health of many people. Then I introduced a breathing exercise that I learned from my kundalini yoga DVD. That one wowed them. It's exhilirating. Even the bitter old lady smiled and seemed to enjoy that one.

I see there are people posting questions. I want to answer. Just not now sorry. It's time to get out of here.

I've got this post saved onto Word so I can read and make entries from my room.

I'm also thinking about getting a wireless internet connection. Don't know anything about it though.

Boy, thank everyone for reading, and for posting.

Troy.



This way is not compatible with Zen practice. This way IS Zen practice. - Dr. Doug Graham

Nothing whatsoever should be attached to. - Buddha

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Re: Raw at a Buddhist Temple in South Korea
Posted by: la_veronique ()
Date: May 20, 2007 03:32PM

yeah, we purty much hijacked your thread troy

u hafta admit, u do have a fairly interesting life living in a monastery in korean and all

we can't help but to be interested smiling smiley

hope yer doing good smiling smiley

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Re: Raw at a Buddhist Temple in South Korea
Posted by: earthangel ()
Date: May 20, 2007 11:17PM

hey there!!! yay you were able to post!!! sounds like you had an amazing week!!! that lady seems soo sweet bringing your meals to you...those melons sound sooo yummy i need to look here in San diego and see if can find them anywhere i doubt it though haha....
well keep up the good work and awesome progress..your life seems so amazing and magical!! luck you!
love earthangel
xoxoxoxoxoxo

Much peace and love!!!
EarthAngel
Xoxo

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Re: Raw at a Buddhist Temple in South Korea
Posted by: kwan ()
Date: May 24, 2007 04:46AM

Hi Troy,
I've been lurking all too long here in your diary-- time for a greeting. I'm really entranced, reading about your experiences in the Buddhist temple, because my husband and I are. . . hmm, I guess you'd say we're Zen Taoists (? ;-p) of a sort, and I've always fancied what it would be like for us to live in a spiritual community such as yours. We have a small Korean Zen (Seon Buddhist, no less) community in our neighborhood about 3 blocks from our house here in Cambridge, MA, and we've gone there a few times to meditate. But we also think of our little apartment 'in the sky' (18th fl.) as a kind of mini-ashram.

I understand oh so well what you are going through with the pastry craving. I've been raw for SO many years, yet I still sometimes want chocolate or something starchy. I realized recently it usually happens when I haven't got a clear idea what/how to eat on a particular day, and I get blind-sided by my own lack of good planning. When I have a good variety of fruit and greens, I usually do well. This week I'm having a bit of a tough time again because my blender broke and so I can't have my beloved green smoothies in the morning. I'm so used to them that this has kind of turned my dietary agenda upside-down temporarily while I figure out what to substitute till I can get a proper blender.

I have no questions for you, Troy, just thanks and wishes for your health and happiness.

Love, joy and peace--
Sharrhan

Sharrhan:


[www.facebook.com]

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Re: Raw at a Buddhist Temple in South Korea
Posted by: earthangel ()
Date: May 24, 2007 07:28AM

hey just stopping by to say hello!! and see how things were going!!
take care
love earthangel
xoxoxoxoxo

Much peace and love!!!
EarthAngel
Xoxo

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Re: Raw at a Buddhist Temple in South Korea
Posted by: TroySantos ()
Date: May 25, 2007 01:25AM

WELCOME FAMILY AND FRIENDS

Hi everyone. To the regular board memebers, I want to say that I've quit posting to a blog that I'd been keeping. This was for family and friends. I didn't want to post to that blog and to this diary. Too much work. So I closed it down with an entry directing everyone to come to my diary here. Don't know how many of them will actually come to read, but I suppose a few anyway.

And to family and friends, yeah, welcome. This is really a neat place to hang out. For me anyway, and for other members. We enjoy the communication. If you do too, great. As I said in my last blog entry, I really don't intend to convert, introduce, or teach. Wouldn't mind converting and introducing everyone (!) that's just not my intention.

Anyway, this is where to read my stuff and one way to communicate with me. Another is to download Gizmo Project and we can talk PC to PC for free. I gave up Skype because it was freezing up my laptop every time.

Well, in a minute I'll post a few entries that I wrote up earlier this week.

Troy.



This way is not compatible with Zen practice. This way IS Zen practice. - Dr. Doug Graham

Nothing whatsoever should be attached to. - Buddha

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Re: Raw at a Buddhist Temple in South Korea
Posted by: TroySantos ()
Date: May 25, 2007 02:49AM

A FEW GENERAL RESPONSES

la_veronique
> u hafta admit, u do have a fairly interesting life
> living in a monastery in korean and all
Yeah, it's been a pretty fascinating life. I'm 43 and have lived about 16 of my adult years in 4 countries in Asia. Philippines, Japan, Thailand, and now Korea. Crazy. Fascinating. No regrets. I once heard a taped Dharma Talk where the guy paraprhased a monk who'd given a Dharma Talk. The monk said something like, "If you can't meditate -- TRAVEL!!" I interpret this to mean that the best way to learn about life is to meditate. The next best way is to travel! I've been a lousy meditator pretty much since I started. Now that I've comitted myself so seriously though, I sometimes feel more okay with it all. Except that knee pain recently has really seriously challenged me. Just 30 minutes is too much to bear.

Earthangel: Thanks for mentioning the Swan Lake Melons. I've wanted to get a picture on this forum for a while. Here it is. And a very brief description. "...an exceptional perfumy aroma and flavor." Yeah, I'll say.
[www.seedsofchange.com]

Kwan: Another Zen / Taoist! Great. Did you get your name from the response by the Korean monk Seung Sahn? The first time I saw your name on this board I thought about that response. Just never asked you.

I have salivated on (!) many Zen books and a few Taoist books over the years. So last year I decided to come to a country where there's a long history of Zen / Seon. (Also to make some much needed money, of course.) You know how the writings are all so mysterious? Well, there are a few mysteries for me here. One is my friend Sunmi. She's great. I may never ever understand her very well, but I'm able to really easily accept her. She's great.

Another is the langauge. What are these people saying to me?!! Sunmi's been helping me quite a bit. And just last night she agreed to significantly step up her help.

Another is this hwadu. (Or koan in Japanese; hwadu, and kong-an in Korean.) The hwadu that we all get is, translated into English, "What is ...?" Though the question doesn't have an object, there is indeed, an object. Fist. But don't visualize a fist. For me, it's so much easier to keep the hwadu in mind if I visualize a fist. I usually do visualize it for a moment then sort of let it go. I guess. It does help me get motivated to keep the hwadu in mind. I feel mildly invigorated. Nice.

Of course, in both Zen / Seon and Taoist writings, they say that it's all the same. One thing in the universe is like everything else. I suppose that if I can understand what "fist" is (not just that recognition when seeing a fist, and not just associating something with the word) then I can understand the universe. And then there's no need to travel to this country and to that country! I'm going overboard actually. I do believe it's not useful to talk like this.

Anyway. Yeah. I like this practice quite a lot. Confusing, but, still, there's something about this that I'm so so so glad to be doing. Challenges a few beliefs that I've held. And some attachments, like, to reading! I haven't read any Dharma books since I arrived. And I don't often listen to Dharma Talks in English. I do still enjoy them though sometimes. Still very useful to keep me inspired. But the practice is to keep to the hwadu. Through it all. Everything. All day and all night, never ever let it go. Live this hwadu with all your might. BURN with hwadu.

Sunmi's got my thumb drive with several entries that I wrote earlier in the week. She'll come sometime later today or this evening. I suppose I'll post them tomorrow.

The temple is so so quiet right now. The abbot and most everyone who works here (including the kindergarten teachers and staff) have gone to China for a few days. There's one monk and one old lady in addition to me that didn't go. No kids. No chatter from the kids or adults. So it's super quiet. Relaxing. It rained yesterday so I won't water the garden. Not much to do but relax. And smile big. :-)

Enough.



This way is not compatible with Zen practice. This way IS Zen practice. - Dr. Doug Graham

Nothing whatsoever should be attached to. - Buddha

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Re: Raw at a Buddhist Temple in South Korea
Posted by: earthangel ()
Date: May 25, 2007 02:56AM

hey there..wow that is amazing 16 years over in different countries what an amazing life you have!!! that is soo wonderful!! congrats to you!!!
oh and thanks for the melon pics..so yummy!!!! glad to see them haha....and thanks for all the info ...it sounds wonderful the place you are and things you are learning!! take care
love earthangel
xoxoxoxoxoxo

Much peace and love!!!
EarthAngel
Xoxo

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Re: Raw at a Buddhist Temple in South Korea
Posted by: meow ()
Date: May 25, 2007 03:45AM

hello TroySantos! i'm a little late in welcoming you to the diary section, but i just read through your journal and wow, you have got a very cool and fascinating life!

a lot of what you said in your last post is over my head (becoming raw has for whatever reason inspired me to look into Eastern religions and beleifs, but i have only dabbled in a bunch of them instead of studied just a few in-depth at this point). but the hwadu- does that mean separating an object from what we call the object? like you mean "fist" is just a word we have given to the actual body part, and you're trying to see it as what it really is instead of associate it with the arbitrary word it was assigned? sorry if that made no sense! you seem like you have a wealth of knowledge, it's so great that you are there in S. Korea immersed in the Buddhist life. what a wonderful experience.

anyway, enjoy the peace & quiet!

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