Sayādaw U Jotika

Sayadaw U Jotika

Sayadaw U Jotika

Ear­li­er this year it was a tremen­dous joy to find out that Ven­er­a­ble Sayā­daw U Joti­ka hap­pened to be spend­ing one month in Bangkok and that the qui­et res­i­dence which his lay-sup­port­ers had orga­nized for him to stay was coin­ci­den­tal­ly in the same con­do­mini­um build­ing as mine. How remark­able in a city of ten mil­lion inhab­i­tants! Although he was not broad­cast­ing his pres­ence here and was appre­ci­at­ing a con­trast to his busy duties in Bur­ma, his sense of wel­come was unequivocal.

Once again it is the enor­mous good for­tune to wel­come Sayā­daw U Joti­ka back to Thai­land. Next month he will return to Thai­land and spend some time here on retreat—a step­ping back from the respon­si­bil­i­ties and duties he car­ries in Bur­ma. Hope­ful­ly I and oth­ers will have the hon­our to spend some time with him dur­ing this time.

In prepa­ra­tion for his vis­it I include some words of wis­dom from his book ‘Snow in the Summer’:

A lizard is climb­ing the tree in front of my kuti and a dove is coo­ing behind my kuti. What more do you want to know about my life?


I am not a fol­low­er, because that would mean I am not tak­ing com­plete respon­si­bil­i­ty for my life. Nei­ther am I a leader, because that would mean I am tak­ing respon­si­bil­i­ty for oth­ers, which would mean tak­ing away from them respon­si­bil­i­ty for them­selves. I am a friend. I am for­ev­er an explorer.


More and more peo­ple are look­ing at me as if I’m a wise monk. Some­times I feel that as a bur­den. They won’t allow me to be fool­ish some­times. It’s so nice when nobody is around. I’m not fault­less, and I don’t aspire to be per­fect. It’s eas­i­er when I allow myself to be fool­ish. A good rep­u­ta­tion is a prison.


I don’t want to put myself into a pigeon-hole; it is too lim­it­ing. I want free­dom from a name, a label. I am what I am. I don’t need to be cat­e­go­rized. Do you know the root of the word ‘cat­e­go­ry’? It comes from Latin and Greek (L. catē­go­ria, Gr. katē­goriā), and one of its orig­i­nal mean­ings is ‘accu­sa­tion.’




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