Modern-Day Monk

Ashin Cando Bhasacara has lived in the United States for over 20 years and has been a resident of Bowling Green, Ky., for 10 years. Originally from Burma, Bhasacara is a Buddhist monk on a mission to lead others. While Buddhists are a minority in Bowling Green, Ky., over 300 families from around the region come to Bhasacara for guidance. Bhasacara expresses the necessity in leading the next generation of Buddhists. "It is very important to the families to maintain our culture," Bhasacara said. "If we lose who we are, we have nothing to give to our children."


Ashin Cando Bhasacara mediates in his home in Bowling Green, Ky. "I meditate two times a day," Bhasacara said. "I meditate once at 7 a.m. and once at 7 p.m."

Ashin Cando Bhasacara spends around 30 minutes to 1 hour of time a day watching the news. "I like CNN and Fox News," Bhasacara said. "I also like Trump because he is very clear."

Bhasacara eats lunch with a fellow monk visiting from his home country of Burma. "Everyday, once a day a buddhist family brings a meal," Bhasacara said. "The menu changes from fish to chicken to veggies."

Ashin Cando Bhasacara, a Burmese buddhist monk, lives in Bowling Green, Ky. and runs a temple out of his home. Ashin is the only buddhist monk in Bowling Green but leads and teaches around 300 buddhist families in the surrounding community.

On his way to Walmart with his friend, Waya Da, Bhasacara listens to 'Lady Antebellum' on a local Bowling Green, Ky., station.

Buddhist families from around Bowling Green, Ky., donate money to Ashin Cando Bhasacara so that he is able to focus on his temple duties. "The life of a monk is very difficult so we work through the week and make donations to the monk to make it easier for him," Wendy Win, a friend of the monk, said.

Ashin Cando Bhasacara looks for an air mattress at Walmart, Saturday, Sept. 23. Bhasacara is the only Buddhist monk in Bowling Green, Ky.

Ashin Cando Bhasacara and his friend, Waya Da, of Burma, scan lottery tickets they bought the previous week at the Huck's gas station. Waya Da's total winnings amounted to $35.

Bhasacara returns to the solitude of his home. He is the only Buddhist monk in Bowling Green, Ky.

Ashin Cando Bhasacara mediates in his home in Bowling Green, Ky. "I meditate two times a day," Bhasacara said. "I meditate once at 7 a.m. and once at 7 p.m." Ashin's home country of Burma is the most religious Buddhist country in terms of the population of monks and income spent on religious beliefs.

Bhasacara returns home to eat the food he picked up while at the Hucks gas station. As per tradition, many Buddhist monks eat only one meal a day before noon but Bhasacara has adjusted his habits to American culture.

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