Ex-Monk in Vancouver – Part I

Nathan and I have been wandering for hours now at the Year of the Snake Asian Expo at BC Place.

BC Place – photo taken from office window.

It’s all becoming a blur of colors — mostly many shades of red. Row after row of booths selling remote control cars, macaroons, stinky tofu, trinkets, lanterns, and more. The sound of children laughing on carnival rides, vendors hustling, and the crowd bustling echos distantly in my mind. This event is like a mishmash of Vancouver’s Chinatown, Playland, and Richmond Night Market — all conveniently under the roof of BC Place.

We are at the point where we’ve lost my brother, his fiancee, and mischievous little Luke to the bleachers. They are likely sprawled out on some chairs enjoying…well, the chairs.

Nathan and I dragged our feet to the edge of the earth. This is the last row of booths. To our delight, we saw a man and his wife selling Tibetan handicrafts and meditation tools. His name is Ric and he is an ex-monk. He told us tales of his brother (also a monk) who practiced silence for 3 years. Could you imagine? Anyhow, we became fast friends and exchanged contact information. We left that booth after an hour with a huge gong and a singing bowl under our arms. Ric’s wife had wrapped the gong up in a beautiful shawl. This is going to help us greatly in our meditation practice.

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The beautiful gong and singing bowl in our meditation room at home

I had nothing but good feelings about him. Nathan was skeptical. Was this man telling us wild monk (oxymoron?) stories to seal deals? He seemed too good (in the moral sense) to be true.

It is later confirmed that this was not the case.

To be continued…