First CHamoru Buddhist Monk fundraises for school children in Myanmar

(PNC photo)

Born Dwayne “ Duke” Palacios; now Adrienne Jade Palacios, Adrienne spent eight years of his young adult life suffering from drug addiction.

The young man realized that he had already experienced enough of human suffering to know that society’s approaches to unhappiness did not address its root causes. It was time to make a change; to step out into the unknown. It was time to face his fears. He felt ready to pursue the life of a monk. He was cognizant to realize that he would have to shed his “self.” That it wasn’t about him at all, but about everything and everyone around him.

He began studying. He learned mindfulness. He found peace in meditation, study, and began living life as a monk. Now in his fifth year of total sobriety which coincides with his fifth year of studying to be a Buddhist monk in the mountains of Thailand, his ministry is taking shape, having just returned from Myanmar, spending time with the Children of the National High School in Shan State. The Shan are an ethnic minority in Myanmar formerly known as Burma.

The first founding of the Shan state inside Burma began in 1287. In 1855 the Shan were conquered by the King of Burma, then colonized by the British from 1886 to 1948. In 1948 they achieved a measure of independence and maintained it. However, the Shan State is facing multiple armed insurgencies from several different ethnic armies.
Adrienne realized that the peaceful state of the children was being threatened. Today, maintaining that spiritual thread while living in a world filled with strife and dissonance would be a challenge, but one that was worth taking up.

Adrienne has returned to his homeland for a little while. While here, he answers the call to raise funds for the children of Shan. The National High School is the only place where children can learn in relative safety, and it is here that Palacios has spent the last few months.

“I was shocked by the conditions that the children had to learn in. I have never seen human beings live like that. I have spent the last five years in Thailand and I have seen a lot of poverty.”

Because of the intense and rigorous inner work that he has done on himself and because of his work servicing others, he has the ability to help bless all those within whom he comes into contact.

This year in June, Palacios has been invited to speak at the World Peace Festival in Stockholm. The focus of the conference is to explore what universally shared values are, and how they can contribute to a world of peace and provide hope for the future of humankind.

A fundraiser will be held to assist Adrienne in raising funds to help the National School of the Shan State. This gathering will be held at Port of Mocha, Guam Premier Outlets (GPO), on Wednesday, May 29, at 6 p.m. The event is being sponsored by Delta Tire and Lube, and the Indian Community of Guam. Authentic Indian will be served.

For more information, contact David Louis Bell at 6865218