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Lions Roar : September 2005
SHAMBHALA SUN SEPTEMBER 2005 75 that you wanted to get married. Some monks these days are so self-centered, immature, and arrogant. They’re indif- ferent to the needs of laypeople like myself. When I go to them trying to ask advice about my marriage, they don’t have a clue about how to help me.” She continued, as we wove around the ocean cliffs. “ This is why the Christian missionaries are so success- ful. Their ministers are married and have families, so they know the diffi- culties we have. Buddhism is going to lose out to Christianity if we keep going like this. I went to your master and told him my thoughts. At first he just turned away from me. But I felt really strongly about this. So I just kept going to him with my arguments. I would say to him, ‘You should welcome Ilmee’s marriage, because we need more warmhearted monks like him. He is the wave of the future. You are really lucky to have him as a disciple. He is going to help you propagate Buddhism.’ Finally, he began to come around to my view. And after a few days, he even began to get excited about this way of thinking!” Ilmee turned around and looked at me in the back seat. He said in English, “Sumi, this secretary is our personal bodhisattva. This blessing from my master would not have happened without her. These laywomen wield such unseen power!” We pulled up to a cliff. The three of us leaned on a railing, looking at the Yellow Sea crashing over the rocks, reflecting on the strange, new adventure that was about to begin. We got married in October of last year, in the dharma hall of a Buddhist center in Massachusetts, fall leaves glowing with color. In the end, the master decided to attend. We stood before monks, lay dhar- ma teachers, professors, classmates, and family in the sunny dharma hall. And, for the first time in public, we kissed. © SUMI LOUNDON is the editor ofBlueJean Buddha: Voices of Young Buddhists and the forthcoming Buddha’s Apprentices: More Voices of Young Buddhists, both from Wisdom Publications. She is assistant director at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies.