November 23, 2007 -- Friday evening

Reading a book of Buddhist meditations in Burmese. He reads to make his mind stable, to control it.

I asked him about the events going on in Burma, where he moved from thirteen years ago. The government, he said, brainwashes people with religion. Religion is a form of control. From the caveman days, the head of the cave would make people scared in order to control them, saying if they did bad things a ghost would follow them or that hell is waiting.

He reads to control anger, greed. Only religion, he said, can stop this. You can focus and your pain goes away.

The lotus, he said, is a symbol of their religion. The one on the cover of the book is like the one here.

When he's not reading meditations, he likes nonfiction--books about great presidents and generals and the history of San Francisco. Mission Street, he said, used to be a horse trail that went all the way to San Jose.


KennethSF said...

I can't believe you came across someone reading a Burmese Dhamma book in the heart of Mission. He's reading "The Lotus Man," written by a monk named Venerable Sanda Dhika.

Sonya said...

Thanks, Kenneth!