Wednesday, 30 December 2009
Trespassers will be converted
Yes, this is an Ajahn Brahm original. He confirmed it earlier this week. It seemed that when the Bodhinyana Monastery was being built in Serpentine, south of Perth in Western Australia, the Buddhist monks there had a lot of problem with keeping trespassers out. There was no wall around the land, just a wooden fence to demarcate it. The initial signboard read: "trespassers would be prosecuted." Nothing inspiring about it, of course, and it had to be stolen one day too.
Therefore in a fit of inspiration, Ajahn Brahm changed the text to "trespassers will be converted." He told me that if there was anything that Australians would be afraid of, it would be the threat of conversion. And the monastery has been left well alone ever since. Later, when the Jhana Grove meditation centre was being built, he included the same text into the signboard.