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Buddhist Monks Visiting Austin

KXAN.com, Frb 20, 2005

Austin, Texas (USA) -- In 1969, a small group of Buddhist monks that had escaped Tibet following the Chinese invasion and set up a monastic college in southern India. Now several monks from that same college are touring the U.S. raising money through contributions for the children who are educated there.

So what does all that have to do with an Austin day spa?

The answer comes to us from Out On the Porch where Jim Swift begins his report with a tale of woe.

(The following is a transcript of Out On the Porch.)

During the night of November 6, 2000, just two weeks before it was supposed to open in its brand new building, the Daya Day Spa and Salon was gutted by fire.

The owner, Monique Maley, gamely rebuilt and scheduled her new grand opening for September 11, 2001.

There's more.

In October, heavy storms smashed through the roof and flooded the interior. In November, there was an invasion of crickets.

On the first anniversary of the new business, a water main break down the street forced the spa to close for the day.

In July of last year, lightning hit the building.

Just this week, for the umpteenth time, the spa's computer system crashed. Clearly something had to be done.

Chanting.

The ceremony dates back 2,545 years.

Monk Lama Phuntsho says: "One lady from India got married in Sri Lanka. She was very sad because she is going to leave Buddha there and she has to go far away. She was very sad. So Buddha mentioned about, to recite the four sentence(s). 'So wherever I am, whenever you recite to make offering, I'll be there to receive the offering.'"
Swift says: "She was comforted by that."
Phuntsho says: "Yes."

Chanting.

Swift says: "You know, you grew up in Houston."
Maley says: "Yeah."
Swift says: "You don't really look like the 'Earth mama' type."

Laughter.

Maley says: "I'm not 'crunchy granola,' but I'm, I'm open minded, let's put it that way."
Swift says: "And you needed help."
Maley says: "Yeah, absolutely, I mean, everybody needs help."

Chanting.

Swift asks: "What's going through you in the midst of this?"
Maley says: "Now I am going to sound 'crunchy granola.' I found it very overwhelming, very overwhelming. The vibration of the chanting I found extraordinary."
Swift asks: "You feel like it's going to help?"
Maley says: "Absolutely."

Swift asks: "Do you think things will be better here for her now?"
Phuntsho says: "Yeah, sure, you know, the good heart within, then, this blessing will remain."
Swift says: "If she maintains a good heart."
Phunstsho says: "Yeah, if she maintains a good heart, and no harming other beings, this blessing will definitely, will be flowing."

Chanting.

The monks will be in Austin through February 27.


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