Just read this most interesting piece in the New Yorker, one of the bastions of high “American” culture, I thought I would share.
There will be a definite “Return on Investment” (ROI). Apparently.
Gotta love it! God Bless America!
Whereas here in the “incen-sey East,” I just saw a middle aged woman the other day go round and round the Boudhanath stupa prostrating the full length of her body down to the floor in the midst of high monsoon rain.
Defied every shred of logic and I don’t think there was any other ROI other than possibly a “karmic cleanse” ordered my her “lama” – probably some fat, bald man sitting in a rodent and cockroach infested room, where he will be sitting in the middle of a mix of smells that are sweat, incense (yes, of course) and possibly, shit, combined together. He won’t kill the rodents and the cockroaches, he’ll just let them come out and play. He’s oblivious to them, they’ve become part of his landscape, a landscape that doesn’t harm any sentient beings even if they are annoying rodents and cockroaches.
Nothing practical. Nothing scientific. Definitely not hygienic.
So, what’s the point? What’s the Return on Investment (ROI) for her? All she will probably earn are a few scrapes on her arms and knees and aches all over body which surprisingly she will be grateful for. But it’s not self flagellation, that’s for certain, even though it may look like it. But I would never do it – even if my “guru” asked me to. Why? I have no devotion, that’s why. Plain and simple. And I need everything to be practical, make sense, to be scientific, and definitely hygienic.
So I admire most of all this unknown woman’s devotion. You really should have seen this woman. She would have surely been put in a mental asylum if she were going round and round on her hands and feet in the middle of big rains in New York. Certified.