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Endowed with Filiality and An Elder’s Manner

-- Introducing Mr. Mack Bostick

Originally published in Vajra Bodhi Sea, issue 412, September, 2004
By Shwang He / English translation by Sheng Myau Yin

Mr. Bostick, the current Pricipal of the Developing Virture Secondary Boy School at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, is a seasoned math professor who taught at University of Oklahoma, Texas Christian University, and Eastern New Mexico University. He once worked for a high-tech company in Australia. He traveled to various countries. He and his wife, Nami, were both Christians until about ten years ago, when they lost several hundred thousand dollars in a seafood restaurant investment. When they turned to friends for help, most of the friends turned a cold shoulder except for one Buddhist (now a nun at the City of 10,000 Buddhas), who not only remained friends with them but also gave them a large loan to help them weather their financial problems.

After this experience, Nami no longer indulged in a life of eating and making merry. Instead, she started to sincerely study Buddhism. Influenced by her devotion, Mr. Bostick accompanied her to ceremonies at the Avatamsaka Vihara in Maryland. Four years ago, they came to volunteer and stay at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. Mr. Bostick became a volunteer teacher at the Boys’ School.

Mr. Bostick came from a family of scholars. His father was an educator and a principal all his life. Under his influence, Mr. Bostick is not only well educated, but also enthusiastically supports education and teaches tirelessly. He has been the Boys’ School principal for almost two years. Demonstrating the etiquette of an elder, he carefully and diligently fulfills his role, sharing both good and bad times with teachers. Faculty and students alike are put at ease by his humble and agreeable manner. At meetings, teachers always enjoy his wife’s cookies or cake. On holidays, the Bosticks often invite the faculty and students to their house to celebrate.

If you are a student of Mr. Bostick, you get to learn a lot about life, history, rare words, how things work and much more--things that you may not have bothered to read about. In Mr. Bostick’s classes, students can learn the art of life as well as enjoy his sheer intelligence and humor. He always has a clever question or joke up his sleeve that requires an uncanny amount of logical thinking.

Mr. Bostick is quite the Renaissance Man. He is not only extremely intelligent and highly rational; but can also knit and is a pianist, a master chess player, an excellent chef, and a wonderful Scrabble player (he can always help you use your Xs, Qs and Zs). Though his capabilities and skills are numerous, he still remains very humble. Mr. Bostick is one of the most supportive and helpful people at school. He is always filled with spirit, enthusiasm and support for the school, its students and faculty.

A filial son, Mr. Bostick brought his mother, Mrs. Margaret Bostick, to stay with them at CTTB so that they could take better care of her. Margaret was a Christian throughout her life, so when she moved to CTTB, she seldom set foot in the Buddha Hall. When taking care of her, Nami would play the chanting of Amitabha Buddha's name. On February 4, 2003, Margaret told her son and daughter-in-law to go to the Buddha Hall, “Because I saw a lot of Buddhas there. One of them was so big, so big, I can’t describe. You won’t believe how big it is. And light everywhere!” She fell ill the next day and was hospitalized. Since she was in a stable condition, she was transferred from intensive care to a regular room within a few hours. She passed away peacefully at the age of 101 that night.

Seeing the spiritual experience of his mother’s passing away, Mr. Bostick started a new life journey and began attending Evening Recitation in the Buddha Hall. For Mr. Bostick and his mother to learn and have faith in Buddhism under his wife’s influence, they must certainly have planted good roots in past lives!