Until 5:30 a.m. “That’s very bad for a Buddhist monk,” he says with a smile.
Quang is, by all estimations, the first Buddhist monk in Baton Rouge. Ever. Baton Rouge’s Buddhist Temple has existed, in one location or another, since about 1985. It remained monk-less until 2003, when Quang visited to give a lecture and conduct services.
Quang is a slight monk with frameless glasses. If he likes a question, he’ll reward it with a smile and a “Wow, good question,” in a soft Vietnamese accent. While he talks, his eyes drift out the window to the lawn of the temple where he lives and works. Many things, he says, contributed to his decision to become a monk.
For one, the lifestyle has always come naturally to him. “Even as a little boy, I did not look for a material life, clothing or whatever. Rather I [liked to] read the book, philosophy, literature.”
The hardship of living in a divided, post-war Vietnam also played a role. His father spent six years in a government run re-education camp for his ties to the United States. “So many things happen without an answer [that’s] reasonable, so many questions in my life.”
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