Monk Magic

Buddhist Monk walking along the Bruce Highway. Photo from Gladstone Observer.

Each day a shabbily dressed bloke, carrying a few possessions in a small shoulder bag, is walking our footpaths, and passing motorists gawp at him in amusement, pity or disgust.  Is it too much to ask to be left alone when I’m walking to the shops to buy the paper?

Meanwhile, some blow-in monk is walking the same streets and people are cheerfully giving him money and food!  What he really needs are some reflective strips on his dark robes.

Apparently this barefooted Buddhist has forsaken riches, meat, alcohol and work, and survives on whatever handouts he receives from passing strangers.  And when I merely hinted that he may be a professional moocher who contributes little to society, people yelled at me!

He’s certainly one popular monk.

His PR mob must be working overtime, because according to the last Census, Buddhism has seen a seventy percent jump in membership around Oz.  Meanwhile the Jedi Knight movement is still waiting to be recognised in the official statistics; which is an outrageous case of brazen religious persecution!

As a lad, I was exposed weekly to a faith that contained numerous stories of amazing miracles, treks through the wilderness, talking animals, giants, persecution, vengeance, mateship, sacrifice and adventure, and it even had its’ own TV show:  Monkey Magic!

This whacky Japanese programme transfixed Australia’s youth for many years, but we weren’t interested in its’ Buddhist message of seeking enlightenment to overcome the suffering of existence; we just wanted to be Monkey Warriors.

(Edited) Chattering gibberish as we swung our painted broomsticks about with the accuracy of a drunken machine gunner, there wasn’t a light bulb, ceiling fan, lampshade, or glass ornament, safe in the entire house.

Later, I was disillusioned to learn that the story of Monkey is based on Buddhism in much the same way politics is based on integrity, i.e.: very, very loosely.

But I still retain some of its lessons, like living a life of poverty, which was sort of thrust upon me by various banking institutions.

Ending edited… (but I’ll re-use it later)  🙂

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