Ordinary Joe



In an article by Maia Duerr she reported on the passing of Bhante Suhita. He was the first African American to be ordained a Buddhist monk and also had the rare distinction of being ordained in all three major Buddhist lineages: Mahayana, Theravada, and Vajrayana.

Professionally he was trained as a social worker, and found deep joy in working with the homeless, those with HIV/AIDS, ex-offenders, and many others on the margins.

Duerr reported that, “he was not a Buddhist celebrity, so you won’t find much about him on the internet. He worked largely in the realm of the invisible.”

It strikes me that even if you’re not a Buddhist but simply human being like most of us who won’t show up on the Internet, we are in some ways invisible throughout our lifetime.
The question in my mind is, why is that so difficult to accept? Why is it difficult to work at knowing who you are and living your life accordingly. Being whatever that means and accepting yourself as “okay”? Simply accepting that I am somebody to my family, my co-workers, my friends, and my neighborhood, but never expecting to ‘go viral.’


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