Door to door
Each year, the fourth-year nuns go out on “tak-bal,” or alms’ rounds–but not for a daily meal, which is the original meaning of tak-bal, but to raise money for charity. The situation in modern temples is such that begging for staples, such as rice, flour, or vegetables, is hardly necessary; but the form and the custom remains and has, in the case of our seminary, been employed toward other ends. The money we raise goes to help prison Dharma networks and resources, provide educational scholarships to children in need, and into food banks, among other things.
Our team went door-to-door in the one-street residential section of the small village below the school. As per tradition, one nun hit a moktak while the rest of us chanted Sogamuni Bul, Shakyamuni Buddha.