Yesterday's visit by seventeen of our island's most effective leaders, in whose hands lies the future of our little community, was a rare and important moment. There was much sharing between the monks and these amazingly motivated men and women (lots of spiritual questions, too).
At one point, Ken Stokes, an environmental scholar and county consultant, rose spontaneously to share with the rest of his group how much the monastery has learned and implemented in the arena of sustainability, and proceeded to take them to school using our experiences here.
It is inspiring to know that the monastery means so much to our little community. The mayor (in the green shirt) was invited to share his Holo Holo 2020 vision, and he gave a most impressive list of the projects he has begun. The island is blessed to have a man who loves the land and its peoples so deeply, and is so determined to improve everyone's life here on Kauai. Our Wailua Mission members were applauded by the visitors for their selfless service and genial hospitality. Little-known fact time? Kauai has 64,000 residents. Plus every day 16,000 more stay on the island (tourists), and 2/3rds of them stay in condos and vacation rentals, only 1/3 in hotels.
Bodhinatha's Latest Upadeshas: "The Difference in Practice of Theism and Monism" (September 3, 2014)
During a puja we're in Theism, to receive the blessings of the Deity. After a puja we can go within our self in meditation, giving up the idea of an external Deity, Monism. Monistic Theism: Advaita Ishvaravada. Advaita means the Monism; Ishvara means the Theism.
In Shum we use two words that relate to that: shumif and dimfi. First, perfect your Theism. Then become a monist. That's called Saiva Siddhanta; one leads to the other.