Quasi Monk

William B. Turner
3 min readJan 23, 2023
The Buddha

I hate doing this.

I do live a somewhat monk like existence. My apartment is a very plain, one bedroom model in a slightly grungy, but safe complex, in the Vietnamese section of town, as it happens.

I have no trouble honoring the five precepts because I live a pretty boring life by inclination. In high school, I hung out with the stoners because they were the most interesting group, and I smoked my share of marijuana. Actually, slightly less than my share because I never found it as fascinating as some of my friends and I was too paranoid to get stoned at school as much as they did.

I have more than one story about vomiting in public as the result of having drunk too much alcohol. I hardly drink at all now. I took a bottle of wine to my parents’ house for Christmas, but I took it partly because it had been sitting in my apartment for months, undrunk.

The point of this post, however, is that I also have a monk like income, slightly above the poverty level for Oklahoma, where the cost of living is low, so the poverty level is low.

I am still working on Red State Vihara and have no intention of giving up, but any donation you make will contribute to that project insofar as I’m the one who thought it up, so helping me is helping the project.

This is sort of bespoke crowd funding in some sense, I guess. Bespoke in the sense that, if you are reading this, we have some minimal connection beyond what one might usually expect for a crowd funding campaign. As of today, I have exactly 2,000 followers here on Medium.

I am really bad at taking care of my own needs, which looks like karma to me, since I can’t find any other explanation for it.

The computer I’m using right now is developing a bad habit of turning itself off for no apparent reason, sometimes causing loss of text that I have typed in. I can’t afford to buy a new one right now. I use Windows machines, which are cheaper than Apples.

The rent is due in two weeks. It is late after the fifth of the month, which is a Sunday next month, so it falls on the Monday after, two weeks from today. I usually have no problem paying my rent on time, but this month, I do not expect to have the money.

In Asia, Buddhist monks go daily on alms rounds. Some people call the bowls they carry to collect the food for their daily meals, “begging bowls.” We can call this my high tech begging bowl. I’m not asking for food donations, since that is not practical. But I am begging, I guess.

Please make a donation, if you can, here. Also, I have a new campaign set up on a different platform, just to show what an enterprising beggar I am. That site is here.

Okay, this computer has now shut down twice while I have been typing this post, so I need to stop here. But remember that generosity is a cardinal virtue in Buddhism, and keep up your consistent meditation practice, as always. Thank you.