Meeting the Monk

Yesterday we had a plan and that plan was to go and see the Shwedagon Pagoda which I was really excited about and I couldn’t wait until we saw the giant glamorous building in all it’s glory.

It was about 8:30 that we got up and I put some clothes on and then had a shower. It was a Thursday so it was a school day so I got my computer out and did my work. Iysha and my mum were doing work also. We didn’t want to go out yet because it is summer here and it gets really hot. Even the locals carry around umbrellas to keep them cool. So we were working.

By now it was three o’clock and school was over and it wasn’t as hot anymore. So we we got ready to go and see the amazing features of the building. We were so excited; we went down stairs and tried to order a taxi and we got one it was six minutes away from our current location. The taxi arrived and we got in and we were ready to go. The taxi journey was quite long because of the traffic. We could have walked there it would have taken a hour but it was still to hot for that.

We arrived at the Shwedagon Pagoda and the first thing you saw was two big cat like sculptures and they were really cool. Then above them you could just about see the top of the biggest building in the Shwedagon Pagoda. We entered and the first thing we could see was a few shops and lots of escalators. We started to walk towards the elevators and then we were told to take our shoes off so we did that. Then the people that told us offered to look after our flip flops if we pay them. We just carried on with our flip flops in our hands. We went up all of these escalators and then we arrived at a desk were you had to pay to get in so we paid and then they said that we can leave our flip flops behind the desk for free which was good. We walked in and instantly my favourite thing was the gigantic gold building in the middle. A man asked us if we wanted a tour but we said maybe because we didn’t know if we wanted one or not. we were walking around and we liked the architecture but we weren’t really in to all the statues of buddha. For example we went into a room that was just full of buddha statues which I found weird. There were many other amazing things including all the bells and all the mirrors but we found a bit that we liked a lot so we sat down there. We close our eyes for a bit and looked at the sculptures and then decided to go somewhere else. We found a place with lots of buddhas and also a monk.

The monk called us over and told us to sit next to him. He asked what my name was and I replied with Caspar because that is what it is. We were with him for along time he asked me a lot of questions and I asked him a lot of questions. I am just going to tell you what he said as simply as I can. He was explaining how when he was ten he decided to become a monk and his parents were happy with that so he gave everything up to learn the ways of buddha and to learn the language of pali. He explained that he was a teacher of pali and he enjoyed doing that. We asked him what he does on a day to day basis and he says he wakes up and three or four has a wash and brushes his teeth meditate teach and then he has free time. He said at the moment it is the holidays and they get two months off which must be cool. They also get free food and accommodation because they have given up there life to Buddha; but he says they learn about what they want and what they desire and that can happen in every day life for us as well. He also told us that anything we desire can lead to suffering. We knew this because of mums work the more we desire the more we suffer and I learnt that sometimes I can desire things that I don’t really need this would make me suffer because if I desire things I will want more and this will make me suffer. We learnt this because we gave up our home.

That was a real great experience to talk to a monk and I am really lucky to of had the chance to do that.

I hope your day was as good as mine.

Over and Out

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