There is a monk who I have been helping for some time. He has shared with me the difficulties of being a monastic in America and intimated that he may not always be in robes. After a conversation yesterday it appears that he will be disrobing soon enough and I am, quite predictably, disturbed by the idea.
I feel like I haven’t done enough to try to convince him to stay but, then again, that’s really not my place. With the way the world’s headed I think it’s sheer folly to throw away the opportunity to practice like that but what do I really know? He’s alone in a foreign country and caught between the demands of the ethnic community that supports him and his teacher’s wish that he propagate the Dhamma among Americans.
Frankly, I’m at a loss about what to do but it seems that there really is nothing for it. Luckily, I never set him up in my mind as a teacher so I’m slated the crisis of conscience but it always saddens me to hear about someone disrobing.