Thursday, July 08, 2010

In Which We Give Something to a Monk

Polly, the newest volunteer and my roommate at the Trina House (who, in some way that I can't quite pinpoint, reminds me strongly of Liza Minnelli. She does not seem to suffer from vertigo, though) brought some fruit this morning to share with the monks in our class. Since we only had one student there for the first 30 minutes of class, she went ahead and gave the fruit to him.

Little did we know how much ceremony was involved with that! Fortunately, Eunice was familiar with the process, so she could prompt us through.

First, Phra Karn set out his workbook with both hands on the table to receive the gift. Polly set the bag on it using both of her hands.

Then, Eunice, Polly, and I all knelt on the floor (Phra Karn was sitting in his chair, and we needed to be lower than him) while he chanted in Pali and then recited in Pali what I surmise was a blessing/prayer of thanksgiving.

Finally, Eunice, Polly, and I had to touch each others' arms as Eunice pushed the bag towards Phra Karn to make a sort-of thread of giving. He accepted the gift, and thanked us very nicely ("Khop kun khop!")

Five weeks here, and there's still all kinds of things to learn!

1 comment:

  1. Monks can't accept fertile food, so fruit usually has to be sliced into before they can take it. That's what I've heard anyway - did they do that?