8 years ago in Feb, i made my first maiden trip to this beautiful island nation of 30 million. Today, the pretty busy road that serves the main throughway from Colombo to Kandy has been widen, resurfaced and thus i see even huge tour coaches and container trucks passing by as i stand above about 5 storeys high at the main meditation hall as i start my walking meditation before THE SIT. Yesterday, an american-vietnamese resident nun living here gave me a surprise by giving me a local sarong and a illuminated statue of the buddha; she wished my happy new year as the sinhala new year is on the 13/14 Apr. PMC is located up the granite slopes to mitigate the noise from the traffic; however, the train tracks that probably runs at least 5 times a day is on the same height as the Dhamma Hall. Gotten used to the symphony of train, vehicular traffic and the sound of nature (birds, insects, whispering of the leaves).
A s i embark on a new chapter of my remaining current life coming to Sri Lanka, i chance upon a dated recording of the 40th Uruguay President; José Mujica. Two quotes from the interview caught my attention... "Either you are happy with very little, free of all that extra luggage because you have happiness inside, or you do not get anywhere. I am not advocating poverty, I'm advocating Sobriety. But since we have invented a consumer society, the economy must constantly grow, if it fails to increase, it's a tragedy. We have invented a mountain of superfluous needs. Shopping for new, discarding the old...that's a waste of our lives. When i buy something, when you buy something, you are not paying money for it; you are paying with the hours of life. You had to spend time earning that money. The difference that life is one thing money cannot buy; Life only gets shorter. And it is pitiful to waste one's life and freedom in that way." "Human