Burmese karma rising, y'all. I just stumbled upon the loveliest blog, called 'a raft,' authored by a monk inside Burma named Ashin Sopaka. No politics, just dharma blended with gently humorous observations, in English so flawless it'll put you to shame (hmm, now I see elsewhere he says he's a native English speaker; curiouser and curiouser...). Brother Sopaka made me laugh right out loud with this anecdote from a recent post entitled "Sesame Seeds":
"There are four rules (pârâjika) in the Vinaya (Code of Discipline for Monks), that if broken, entail immediate expulsion from the monkhood, the first being sexual intercourse. Intercourse is defined as penetration of one of three orifices even just to 'the extent of a sesame seed'. In other words, not at all!
Today at lunch, we had a dessert made from sesame seeds. A monk held up a seed and asked me what it is called in English. After telling him, I recounted the above, at which he chuckled.
After a brief pause, he then told me that there are some who say that sesame seeds at the time of the Buddha were the size of bananas."
Needless to say, 'a raft' should be in your bookmarks and on your blogrolls. Make sure you click the "me" tab at the top, so you can discover why it's called that.