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English Monk in Thailand....


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I have been living in Thailand for over 10 years and have been fascinate by Buddhism for a while. I guess it all started when my wife started explaining stuff to me and it kinda answered questions I had. I used to love giving Alms in the morning on the way home from a late night on the town.

 

About 18 month ago my personal circumstances changed and I had to opportunity to ordain. Anyone knowing me would and has screamed with laughter but I was serious so at the end of 2011 I ordained at a very famous temple in Rayong.

 

I spent over 1 year there and have to admit it was an amazing experience.

 

If anyone has any questions on Buddhism or being a Monk I am happy to help as best I can.

 

With metta

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Hi Para,

 

Maybe you can answer some of my questions. A few months ago I met a wonderful woman in Pattaya and she have asked me if I would like to stay at a temple for three days next time I visit Thailand.

 

I have been giving this some thoughts and decided that I would love to, but I have some questions about the stay stay that you can help me answering.

 

Are there any requirements to me when I stay in the temple? Do I need to speak thai (i can speak a little bit)? What kind of work do you do in a temple (if any)? Do I need to learn some of the prayers? Do I have to bring any thing special like clothes, books, food or money?

 

Anything you can elaborate on this will be highly appreciated. I dont think I will be a monk for a year like you have, but I think a few days of peace and quiet would be very nice.

 

ginola

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I'll try my best.....

 

A lot of Thai girls spend between 3 and 7 nights at a temple to make merit. While its rare for a Farrang to do so I can assure you will be made very welcome. I would suggest following the 8 precepts and living as similar a life to a Monk as you can.

 

Every temple is different some have the Monks up at 4am chanting and again at 6pm while others dont. The daily routine would be something like going on Alms with the Monks at 6am to help them collect food. The food is then prepared and offered to the Monks who inturn bless the people at the temple. Daily chores revolve around making sure the temple is clean and tidy nothing too hard.

 

The chants are pretty hard to learn but you can spend time meditating and enjoying temple life.

 

If you follow the 8 precepts you are expected to wear basic white trousers/top. Books help I was lucky I had WiFi at my temple!

 

You wont need money as such but I would suggest sponsoring a breakfast or lunch for the Monks at the temple to say thank you.

 

Any questions feel free to ask.

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This has got to be a wind-up!!

 

WIFI in a temple???

 

 

Bill

 

 

Why? My Abbot used to give Dhamma talks over UStream to people all around the world.

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Amazing experience being monk in Thailand?

 

Amazing experience doesnt prove anything.

 

Try to spend some time in Iran jail and you will claim same.

 

Any religion is obsession by private or public entity.

 

For example communism and fascim are religions.

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Amazing experience being monk in Thailand?

 

Amazing experience doesnt prove anything.

 

Try to spend some time in Iran jail and you will claim same.

 

Any religion is obsession by private or public entity.

 

For example communism and fascim are religions.

 

 

Spent time in a Thai jail and that wasn't much fun guess they are better in Iran.

 

Buddhism is not a religion........

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Buddhism is not a religion?

 

Dont make me laugh but you can claim anything like me and there is no point in arguing.

 

The point is the language we use for communication dont have tangible value and as a result

 

anybody can claim anything.

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Buddhism is not a religion?

 

Dont make me laugh but you can claim anything like me and there is no point in arguing.

 

The point is the language we use for communication dont have tangible value and as a result

 

anybody can claim anything.

 

 

We are all entitled to our opinions only the insecure feel the need to impart theirs on others.

 

If this thread make you so angry I am sure there are many more that wont.....

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of course Buddhism is religion.

of course Commies and Nazis are not religion - there are ideologis.

To many peoples today are just ignorant.

God help them.

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of course Buddhism is religion.

of course Commies and Nazis are not religion - there are ideologis.

To many peoples today are just ignorant.

God help them.

 

It is neither a religion in the sense in which that word is commonly understood, for it is not "a system of faith and worship owing any allegiance

to a supernatural being."

 

Buddhism does not demand blind faith from its adherents. Therefore it is way of life elected by choice as opposed to to a religion.

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This has got to be a wind-up!!

 

WIFI in a temple???

 

 

Bill

Sure, everyday I see monks up at TukCom getting their laptops serviced. Plus as Para points out lots of Buddhist websites.

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I'll try my best.....

 

A lot of Thai girls spend between 3 and 7 nights at a temple to make merit. While its rare for a Farrang to do so I can assure you will be made very welcome. I would suggest following the 8 precepts and living as similar a life to a Monk as you can.

 

Every temple is different some have the Monks up at 4am chanting and again at 6pm while others dont. The daily routine would be something like going on Alms with the Monks at 6am to help them collect food. The food is then prepared and offered to the Monks who inturn bless the people at the temple. Daily chores revolve around making sure the temple is clean and tidy nothing too hard.

 

The chants are pretty hard to learn but you can spend time meditating and enjoying temple life.

 

If you follow the 8 precepts you are expected to wear basic white trousers/top. Books help I was lucky I had WiFi at my temple!

 

You wont need money as such but I would suggest sponsoring a breakfast or lunch for the Monks at the temple to say thank you.

 

Any questions feel free to ask.

Hi Para,

 

Thanks for your reply. I am surprised that a thread like this can generate anger.

 

I am aware that this might be sensitive, but i would like to know a little about your experience and what to anticipate from a stay in a temple. Maybe you can tell a little more about your experience? Why did you go? Did you plan to stay for a year or did this just happen? How did the monks respond to a Farrang coming to stay in a temple?

 

ginola

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It is neither a religion in the sense in which that word is commonly understood, for it is not "a system of faith and worship owing any allegiance

to a supernatural being."

 

Buddhism does not demand blind faith from its adherents. Therefore it is way of life elected by choice as opposed to to a religion.

 

With true understanding comes wisdom..................

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Hi Para, 

Interesting topic. While i have no real understanding of Buddhism i have been to many temples in Thailand, mostly accompanying Girls who wanted to go.  infact i took a Bkk girl to Phuket for 4 days, rented a bike  and in the day time visited (what must have been) every temple on the island. Superb architecture in all cases although with minimal spoken/written Thai   i couldn't really understand what it was all about although i gave it the utmost respect knowing it meant a lot to the Thai's visiting.

 

I like Ginola would like to hear some more of your experiences, though i have to admit i could not spent 3 to 7 days in one let alone a year.  A couple of hours is enough for me.

 

One thing-   is it true real monks walk barefoot and the ones wearing sandals are scammers?   Just some old wife's tale ?    

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Hi Para,

 

Thanks for your reply. I am surprised that a thread like this can generate anger.

 

I am aware that this might be sensitive, but i would like to know a little about your experience and what to anticipate from a stay in a temple. Maybe you can tell a little more about your experience? Why did you go? Did you plan to stay for a year or did this just happen? How did the monks respond to a Farrang coming to stay in a temple?

 

ginola

 

Why are you surprised? Some people feel the need to dominate and exert their opinions and will seek any possible chance to do so. Sadly their arguments are ignorance driven which makes the comments laughable but we are all at different points in our personal understanding.

 

I did prison visits quite a lot and obviously as both a Farrang and a Monk I got a LOT of attention all of it good except for a certain religious following who tried at every point to convert me to their ways. I calmly explained that I was happy with what I had chosen then asked if they were happy when they said they were I asked what difference does it make what road we travel all that should be important is happiness? Pretty sound logic in my books but alas they still continued.

 

Their problem is blind faith in 'The Book' which has so many holes and contradictions its crazy. Buddhism is pretty unique in that Lord Buddha said 'Just because I tell you something don't believe me go out and find the answers yourself' along with 'There are many Gods follow the one that makes you the happiest' Those 2 statements alone stop Buddhism being a religion and becoming a philosophy.

 

There is very little I am unwilling to share about my experience so don't worry about what you ask!

 

Why did you go?

 

There were 2 reasons one I am not willing to share the other is because of the fascination I had with the way the Monks walking Alms looked so calm and peaceful. As I said I used to give Alms a lot and there were a couple of times when I was in the presence of old Monks and felt a very strong power about them. We ended up making friends with a very old Monk from Udon who was living in Pattaya collecting for restoration of his temple. He lived in a small wooden hut in someones garden and we used to go and visit him every day. He was my inspiration to ordain.

 

Did you plan to stay for a year or did this just happen?

 

It was the plan from the start.

 

How did the monks respond to a Farrang coming to stay in a temple?

 

I ordained at the most famous temple in Rayong but stayed at a very small one 10km's away. At times there was just me and 1 other Monk at others there were 10 of us. Our Temple was stunning as it was on the mountainside in a Forrest so the trees shaded us from the heat. Twice a month on the full and no moon all Monks have to meet up for a private group session called Pattimoka so I was very quickly immersed in the locals. I don't think I had one bad feeling or experience with any of them they seemed to love the fact a Farrang had ordained and enjoyed the free English lessons they got.

 

I couple of times I had to attend big district events and only then did I feel an outsider a couple of times by the very senior Monks. I visited a lot of the local temples as well as others around the country and was always asked by the Abbot to stay so I guess having a Phra Farrang made them happy.

 

You obviously seem pretty interested that makes me believe you will have a fantastic time and come away slightly different from when you went in. I am sure your partner will sound out the Abbot first to make sure he is happy but seeing as its only for a couple of days I really don't see any Abbot having a problem. You do know you will have to sleep apart don't you! 

 

I have an amazing PDF that I will send to you I cant post it here as I have just checked the copyrights and don't want to cause any problems.

 

With metta.

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What is the Buddhist view on bargirls and the sex industry in Pattaya? Or, at least, what is your view, as a monk?

 

Good question considering the general conversation on this board.

 

Buddhism is all about having the right intention. So a girl working in a bar to take care of her family is doing a bad job but with the right intention so good karma. Where as one that works in the bar just to feed her crack habit ignoring her responsibilities and family is amassing huge amounts of negative karma.

 

A couple of times I visited Pattaya in robes and once was walking down Soi Baukhao early afternoon and walked past a bar full of girls. They called out 'Luang Pee I go with you' to with I smiled and said back in Thai 'yes please!' Needless to say they loved it.

 

Also in my experience as a Monk and lay person in Pattaya it seems that the Thai men are the ones showing off their Amulets but never give Alms or make merit its the girls that do. I would always go down Pattaya Klang on Monk days and give the Monks food and they would give a water blessing and again it was only ever girls there. I guess they know what they are doing isn't considered right and are doing what they can to make merit to counter what they work as.

 

Karma is a bitch and the payback doesn't come in this life but is waiting for you in your next,

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Hi Para, 

Interesting topic. While i have no real understanding of Buddhism i have been to many temples in Thailand, mostly accompanying Girls who wanted to go.  infact i took a Bkk girl to Phuket for 4 days, rented a bike  and in the day time visited (what must have been) every temple on the island. Superb architecture in all cases although with minimal spoken/written Thai   i couldn't really understand what it was all about although i gave it the utmost respect knowing it meant a lot to the Thai's visiting.

 

I like Ginola would like to hear some more of your experiences, though i have to admit i could not spent 3 to 7 days in one let alone a year.  A couple of hours is enough for me.

 

One thing-   is it true real monks walk barefoot and the ones wearing sandals are scammers?   Just some old wife's tale ?    

 

I am glad you enjoyed visiting the temples and am sure that you felt something just being there. As for understanding that takes time but it comes if you look for it. I now have a very good friend who posted on another board saying he knew noting about Buddhism but was getting married and wanted to at least have a basic understanding. He came to my temple a couple of times and we are good friends now.

 

I was a wild South London boy who came to Thailand and got worse. If you had of told me 5 years ago I would ordain for a year I would laugh but the only constant in life is change. If a couple of hours suits you then enjoy that time don't force yourself to stay longer and then resent the decision.

 

is it true real monks walk barefoot and the ones wearing sandals are scammers?

 

A Monk MUST walk Alms in the morning bare footed which took a bit of getting used to. After Alms we all wear sandles/flip flops for the rest of the day.

 

Sadly I met a scammer Monk in Pattaya once. I made an offering of 500thb and he looked at it and asked if that was all. I didn't understand then but a Monk is not allowed to ask for anything if he does then he is either a false Monk or breaking the Vinnaya RULES.

 

Also Monks have to be back at their temples before 8am to eat so any Monk out collecting after then is incorrect.

 

If you have any specific questions or stories please ask as I have so many I wouldn't want to bore you with irrelevant ones.

 

With metta

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So, what do the mons think of the falang in Pattaya?

 

The mons? Sorry I dont know who/what they are.

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Monks.

 

P.S. Where do you stand on tipping?

 

Buddhists are a fairly calm group of people, Monks even more so. How can we judge someone without accepting being judged ourselves? Its not about Farrang in Pattaya its about idiot Farrang anywhere.

 

P.S. Where do you stand on tipping?

 

I must be having one seriously vacant day again I don't understand the question!

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^ Sorry an in-joke.

 

Where do monks stand on how well poor Thai citizens are served by their government and the rich elite? Do monks consider that the poor should suffer in silence or agitate for a better deal.

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