Weaccidentally omitted a section from the beginning of the article
"The Shramana's Kindness" in Issue Number 345. The section is given
below, with apologies to the reader.
Shortly, thereafter, without
being asked about it, the Master privately
told us that we really didn't understand what was going on there at
all. The Master said that these people were extremely sincere. It was
very important to them that the Master blessed them. It was not just
some superstitious, greedy seeking on their part. They were absolutely
100% earnest-they had a profound faith in the Master. Thereafter, my
perception and attitude towards the people who came daily to be blessed
was quite different. This is the Shramana's kindness.
Back in San Francisco, we
received a call from a hospital in the city.
A young man with the AIDS disease had requested that a Buddhist monk
visit him as he had a lot of questions about Buddhism. He had perhaps a
few months to a year to live. I thought that, given the fact that we,
as Buddhists, of course did not in any way approve of a way of life
that was inappropriate to the moral teachings of the Buddhism, we
should decline their request. I had heard the Master lecture many times
that if a society condones or accepts homosexuality as harmless as
opposed to the normal husband and wife relationship, then this would be
very detrimental to society as a whole.
To my surprise, the Master said
that was no reason to not respond to
the individual's request. We should have compassion for him. So I
visited him and answered all his questions frankly and honestly
according to the Buddha's teachings, yet without putting him down
personally. It worked out fine, in that he seemed to be happy to have
the opportunity to ask his questions to a Buddhist monk.
One day another monk and myself
had gone out with the Master, as we had
done many times before, to look at property down the peninsula from the
Bay Area. We left very early, and the Master instructed us that we did
not need to pack our lunch, because we would be able to return to Gold
Mountain Monastery in time for our daily meal. As things turned out, we
ended up looking at several additional properties, and did not return
until 3:00 p.m. The Master had, in the past, instructed us that under
special circumstances, we could eat a little later, as long as we were
done eating before 1:00 p.m. This time we knew we would have to go
without eating for that day. It was far beyond the proper time for
eating for monks. To our surprise, the Master insisted that we eat,
even though it was so late. He didn't eat, but he would not permit us
not to eat. This is the Shramana's kindness.