Another opportunity to reach out and help others has arisen at Ox Herding. Someone close to Barry has passed on, and he simply asks to please consider supporting her and her family with your chanting, prayers and love. If you feel drawn, please click on the link. I’m sure what ever form of compassion you are able to offer will be greatly appreciated.
Barry, through his writing and comments, has been a huge help and inspiration to my practice (and probably many others), I appreciate the opportunity to return something. Cheon-ju in hand, I chanted to JiJang Bosal, and asked that he reach out his hand to guide her to a familiar place, perhaps somewhere that she could listen to opera (I could hear Habanera just beneath my chanting, so maybe he agreed…), and I asked that he help guide her to a pleasant rebirth.
Toward the end of my chanting, I was reminded of my Granpa Joe, who passed away during my last trip to Thailand. I wondered for a bit where he is now, where his road has led him.
I was in Chiang Rai, the most northern province of Thailand, when I received the email from my mom telling me. The next day, May, my girlfriend at the time, helped me find a temple to do a ceremony for him. I gave a donation of a monks robes, some rice, candles, and a small amount of money in an envelope in exchange for the ceremony. The merit of the donation would be transferred to my grandfather. I didn’t get all the details of the ceremony, but I held a beautiful, lotus shaped offering bowl and a pitcher of water, which I slowly poured into the bowl and prayed for him to have a good rebirth while the monk chanted an ancient Khmer sūtra. After the chanting, I took the water outside and poured it under a tree by the entrance. I didn’t get a clear explanation, but what I gathered was that the water collected my grandfather’s negative Karma, which I then poured out (I’m probably entirely wrong about this, though. If anyone reading this knows more about the subject, please let me know. _/\_ )
Back in Bangkok, May told me she gave some food to a monk in the morning for Granpa Joe, so he could have something to eat while he’s waiting. The next day, in the taxi, she said she wanted to get pizza or hamburger. I asked why, because she mostly only eats Thai food. With a concerned tone, she told me, “To give to monk.” I asked why she would give a monk a hamburger, so she said, “No! For your Grandfather! Maybe Thai food I give him yesterday is too spicy. Maybe he try, and say, “Wow! This really spicy!” Maybe he cry!”