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When we talk about worship in Buddhism, inevitably we have to talk about the Mahayana school. The Mahayana is a reform movement that emerged in India around the beginning of the A.D. era. It changes the style, the tone and the content of Buddhist practice in profound ways.

BN: Laughing. We may be getting some goats soon. You know the economics of this? They milk the goats. The female goats give birth to billy goats, but there is no use for the billy goats. So after 40 days, they kill the male goat to eat. So we are going to adopt a male goat. And see from there if we can add more. We do eat seafood here, but I'd like the monastery to become completely vegetarian. We still follow the practice of not eating after noon.

This information is nothing new. The Buddha knew this more than 2,500 years ago when, after much diligence, he successfully found lasting happiness by extinguishing the root of all suffering within himself. The Buddha then dedicated the rest of his life to teaching and spreading a non-dogmatic, systematic method to inner liberation, which he called Vipassana Meditation (Vipassana means "Insight" in Pali, the canonical language of Southeast Asia's theravada Buddhism). During the time since, this method has since proliferated drastically; today its presence spans around the world.

New Zealand was stunning, once I got there; the twenty-six hour flight seemed endless. About eighteen hours out, we hit a cloudbank that continued all the way to Auckland, and only later was I to discover that it was more or less a stationary phenomenon over the rain soaked islands. Miraculously, the sun came out the day I arrived and remained for my entire 400-kilometer train trip from Auckland to the rainforests of Wellington, which was nothing short of a spectacular series of picture postcards. Every bend in the tracks, from mountains, to ocean, to pastoral pastures of grazing sheep, was breathtaking.

In yoga and in Thai massage, the hips are believed to hold a lot of emotions. For this reason, innumerable techniques have been developed over the centuries of Thai massage practice to release the hip muscles and joints.

MZC: Achaan Chah talks about liberation depending on the recognition of the radical separateness of awareness, the "one who knows and the five skandas" (form, feeling, perception, volition, consciousness). I question this. How can we separate the one who knows and what is known? The meditator, according to Achan Cha, separates awareness from the object and can focus on the awareness.

I decided that if I want to go deeper into Buddhism, I need to be ordained a monk; I wanted to dedicate my life to it. So I ordained in 1991 and spent five years with my preceptor. We started coming to Mexico and started this monastery in 1999.

Materials the amulet is made from makes no difference at all in relation to whether or not it is a fake amulet. Gold, silver, brass, copper, bronze, clay, plastic, wood, stainless steel, tin, pewter, bone, ivory - I think I have seen amulets of every sort of material on the planet. Every one of them can be faked easily.