Anti-social bodhisattva


I’ve had a major crush on this very revered monk for a while now.   When I first met him years ago, I was so taken by his “lightness” for lack of a better word.  People who had met him previously warned me that he “floats.”  And he did.  When he shook my hand, I didn’t want to let go, I wanted to float away with him.

For years after I saw him at festivals and gatherings, just floating through – no one or nothing sticking to him.  His piercing blue eyes seemed to be taking in a completely different scene.  Whenever I saw someone I knew talking to him, I would pump them to try and find out “what he is really like.”  They usually just told me to approach him myself and find out.  But no, I couldn’t talk to the monk who floats.  When I tried I would stumble all over my words and appear completely stupid. 

But recently I have become quite good friends with a quite good friend of his so I have had an opportunity to hang out with him a bit.   His presence is still a bit startling to me.  Maybe I expected that each word that issued from his mouth would be a dharma jewel that I would treasure and that would crack open realizations that had been closed to me before.  Maybe I expected he would share some good gossip with me and we would be the bestest of friends.  Neither has happened, and maybe that in and of itself is the lesson. 

Or maybe there is no lesson – perhaps he is simply a shy, even aloof monk who wearies of his reputation and thus avoids a lot of contact from needy, crushing students.   But, can you be a bodhisattva and be anti-social?


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