Conversation with a Buddhist Monk

After reading ‘My Journey Home’ by Swami Radhanath, an American Swami, I was very keen to know more about the hidden yet profound wisdom witnessed by many great people on their spiritual journey. My perception towards such people has immensely changed from being sympathetic to the one who carries pearls of wisdom.

I was traveling from Texas to Philadelphia where I was stopped at the security checkin. (Their scanners always get confused when they see a harmonica case). After 15 minutes when I started walking towards my gate, I saw a guy wearing orange robes with a strong presence. I was very curious to speak to him and wished he was in my flight. Though not completely, but my wish was half fulfilled. His gate number was 50 and mine was 49 since he was traveling to Washington DC. After introducing myself to him (Master Lim), I asked if we can sit together and contemplate. To that he nodded with approval.

When we sat he saw my Yoga mat(I usually carry it with me when I am traveling) and asked me “Do you meditate ?”. To which I nodded with a broad smile. He told me he had been meditating since 40 years and is a follower of Buddha. He spoke about his spiritual journey with great enthusiasm. Though he was old in age but his undying smile and simplicity touched my heart.

The discussion moved on to Buddha to which I mentioned about one of his teachings – Nothingness. With great excitement and love in his eyes he started describing about Nothingness. He said “Nothingness means everything in this world is impermanent. The cloth, the carpet, this body, even this cell phone, everything in this world is impermanent”. I felt aligned with his words. He continued “Though everything is impermanent but it does not mean that you should not have a desire to have it. If you desire something, work towards it but do not run behind it. When you madly run behind something, you go far away from nothingness”.

After that I introspected my life in a series of events. I could actually relate each event to what he mentioned. I could see how I have been running behind things with hunger and madness.

He asked me about my Master and I showed him Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s picture on my phone. Out of curiosity he almost snatched my phone and told me “You are in safe hands. Congratulations, you have found your Master”. I nodded in agreement with gratefulness. We heard an announcement calling for Gate 49 which meant I had to leave. But before that I asked him for a picture and he happily agreed.

Before boarding the flight I just looked at him and he was sitting there being Nothing.

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