Author: David Calleja

Film Review: The Lady

Watch this film to be inspired by an outstanding woman whose life work has met and overcome extraordinary obstacles, but will only be complete when the long-held military myth of “might is right” is buried forever.

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Cappuccino with a Country Monk

On Good Friday, Christians connect with God. But as I ran across Flinders Street station and raced down the stairs while clutching a bag of donuts and a take-away cappuccino spilling everywhere, I found myself drawn to a Buddhist monk on the Werribee train, headed for Melbourne’s outer western region. He was a calm figure amidst the noisy carriage. For the first two minutes, we looked all around us, making eye contact occasionally. Neither of us said a word. I offered him a donut in an attempt to start a conversation, forgetting that monks do not eat after midday. But my faux pas broke the ice. This is how I befriended I Saw (pronounced Ee-sor). “I have not seen my family since I was 15. My parents let me leave home to study as a novice monk at a monastery in eastern Burma. Every day, I would wake up at four a.m. and collect food from residents. We would visit their homes or they would line up to donate food as I walked past with the other novices,” I Saw told me. He said that rice, curries and meat sandwiches were his favorite foods. Unlike senior monks, novices were allowed to eat meat, I Saw said, and this helped get him through a long day. He did not mind the classes, but found the sunset chanting and meditation sessions...

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