It’s a magical, if slightly surreal, moment. We’re standing in the courtyard of the largest Buddhist monastery in Taiwan, surrounded by 480 identical gold statues of Buddha, listening attentively to the softly spoken words of one of the monks, the Venerable Yi Jih. The early evening light is just starting to fade and there’s not a breath of wind.
Suddenly, a mobile phone rings. Some of us tut disapprovingly and look around accusingly for the culprit. To our amazement, the offender is Yi Jih. She apologises while rummaging comically beneath her flowing orange robes to locate her phone. After a short conversation, she declares that the monastery office is closing soon so we’d better be quick if we want to check our emails.
And there was me thinking that technology was the root of all evil.
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