Since this is a log of failure on he path to peace and not a story of success, the following story should not be left out.
Mental proliferation, assumptions one thought leading to another, who does not know this. I do know it well. This is large part of the suffering that we create for ourselves, thus far I have understood in 55 years of this existence. And yet, mara puts the trap out – and this silly nun steps right in.
One dog in the village is in heat. Many are, actually but the monastery dog Masher Muffinsson is profoundly enamored with this particular one. They met first when we went on alms round. She lives baan nai, in the few houses that mark the center of the village. Masher and she tried to get together but she was surrounded by other male dogs. So there was no way. But Masher is totally Masher, a real dude, he went back, fought the other males and won her heart and the pole position. Since then, he came home occasionally to eat but he lost a lot of weight. He is only one year old, birthday the 5th of November.
Last week I had to go for a few days and now, living alone, I asked our neighbour to feed the dogs. I forgot to tell them that Masher might not join every meal. So, the first thing I heard when I came back after the trip was, that Masher was gone. (They did not feed as arranged, the now rotten food of the day when I left was still in the pot). I called him several times although he was out of hearing distance, after a while he came ate and disappeared again. I told the neighbour not to worry, Masher is well and has a girlfriend, not time to come for the meals. They were very relieved.
A few days later, I hadn’t seen Masher for 2 days, suddenly a ‘troop’ appeared in the monastery consisting of another neighbour, her son who is soldier on vacation and another young man. They came straight to my kuti and kind of surrounded it. Knowing they will not harm me and are not coming for me, I raised my hands in surrender, laughing. The woman said something about chickens.
Chicken come to the monastery at feeding times, out of the blue, steal the dogs food and then disappear. The young man knew it, he had seen them and made a comment. Now the family had guests and as it seemd, they were in need of food.
Military like the 3 intruder checked around my kuti, with the woman as commander. One boy was sent to check up the hill toward the forest, the other checked behind my kuti into the forest and she was slamming with a stick on bushes and underneath my kuti. I could manage to say in Thai ‘no killing in the monastery’ but that proofed to be not necessary. Miraculously there was not a single chicken around anymore! Not long before the troop came there had been plenty but it was as if they had vaporised, they had just somehow disappeared.
The troop left. Outside of the monastery I heard a bang and send a blessing to the being that had lost its life.
That same day the neigbourhood children who had been designated to feed the dogs came to my kuti to offer food. One of them, a girl, had been crying, her eyes were still red when they came. Then someone of the clan came to ask for medicine, then another one came to check for certain edible flowers. An unusual busy day.
Today, 2 days after this eventful day, Masher had not come for in total 4 days. And suddenly a story started to form in my mind. ‘What if they didn’t come to kill a chicken but to kill a dog who killed a chicken?’ My Thai is so bad that I can easily misunderstand. ‘What if the bang I had heard had killed Masher, who was totally capable to kill chickens, if he wanted?’ ‘They usually don’t give almsfood, they are more a superstitious animist family than Buddhists. Commonly they offer food, when they did something wrong.’ ‘Maybe the children were send to offer food because they had killed Masher…’ and so on… ‘I would leave when they killed him’, ‘I would find out…’ etc., etc. ‘Hercky had been crying and sniffing all around, he would find Mashers dead body, if he was dead…’ ‘Masher would not leave home for so long, he would not …’ Thus the stoty evolved in my mind.
The morning had been sunny but then, like in a bollywood movie, a heavy rain started to fall with thunder and storm during the time I was indulging in the above mental proliferation. Perfect scenario for drama.
Luckily I remembered at some point, that I should observe my mind. Observing it, I noticed that this mind is running wild in assumptions and accusations. It took some force to stop the train of thoughts. But once stopped I decided to just go and see if he is still in the area of his girlfriend, enjoying himself. When the rain stopped, I took some dogsfood, in case Masher would leave for so long, and Hercky and I went to look for him.
He must have heard us coming, he came running and quieking to greet us. Thin he was – and happy that I brought food and so distracted by manovering his love affair. He seemed still to be in pole position. He could not eat tranquil but ran several times to his girlfriend to chase away other dogs. She was waiting for him in a bit of a distance. Tail close at the butt and growning and snathcing at all other dogs but Masher. So that seems to be the doggish version of the ‘made for each other’ story.
As upset I had been to think of his death, before that I was actually thinking what to do with the dogs when I go away, as it might happen next year for even weeks up to months? It wouls be good if Masher had found a new home. Then I only need to find a home for Hercky.