His robes were my favorite part of him early on. My practice had me bowing to them and I remain in reverence even after all these years.
It never grows old and I’m never too tired. The robes remind me of his commitment and steadfast determination to live a holy life, to remain rigorously focused on adding more love to the world. More importantly, they remind me of my commitment as well.
When I first learned how to bow, I felt so awkward and ridiculous. He’d show up and I’d clumsily get down on my hands and knees, surrendering my ego and humanness just for that brief moment.
It was so embarrassing, me this white guy with my privileged white world consciousness, him this brown guy in a foreign land that made no sense to me.
I bowed at first because everyone else did.. but as my love and reverence grew, I bowed to him and all the monks because I wanted to surrender, to revere, to cherish their effort and our collective efforts.
Our love is not words, I think that’s what I trust about it most.. it’s action. Pure movement. It’s tangible, noticeable, evidence based love.
We love each other in service– to our selves, to each other and to the greater world. The practice reminds us to love ourselves first and I love him because he taught me that.