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English Monk in Thailand....


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Thanks for sharing Para!

 

So, do you still consider yourself a Monk?  What are you up to in Pattaya these days?

 

Would love to meet you next time I am in the same town, will PM you.

 

All I am doing is passing on what others have taken the time to share with me.

 

I no longer have the honor of wearing my robes so now I am back to being a South London boy with a slight twist.

 

What are you up to in Pattaya these days?

 

Right now I am not sure as my reason for being here has recently changed and I am seriously in limbo but a plan will come to me when it is ready.

 

Would love to meet you next time I am in the same town, will PM you.

 

Finances depending would love to meet up.

 

With metta.

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Fascinating thread and thanks for sharing your wisdom.

 

For the most part, I agree with the 4 truths and the 8-fold path. Most makes sense to me and seems like it would be beneficial to my life as well as those around me if I were to try to live this path.

 

However, there are a couple of things with Buddhism that just don't make sense for me. Mainly, how is it known that we live many lives and that our present situation is partially determined by our previous life(s?) I guess I just can't believe that karma from this life will affect our next life or that karma from my previous lives has played a part in my current position. Is there a way to prove this or at least a case to be made? From a philosophical point of view I really like Buddhism and think it adds a lot of wonderful thought to our world.

 

Again, thanks for the topic!

 

 

Fascinating thread and thanks for sharing your wisdom.

 

The least I can do considering what other have taught me.

 

 

For the most part, I agree with the 4 truths and the 8-fold path. Most makes sense to me and seems like it would be beneficial to my life as well as those around me if I were to try to live this path.

 

Buddhism is fairly practical hence its massive increase in popularity in the West now.

 

Mainly, how is it known that we live many lives and that our present situation is partially determined by our previous life(s?)

 

Very hard to explain because there is no concrete proof. Lord Buddha said he had lived over 500 previous lives before he became enlightened most in human form but some in animal. Some Monks are able to reach the deepest possible state of meditation where they are also able to see not just their previous lives but where they will be born next. Problem is all of this is open to conjecture.

 

All I will say is when you have the feeling of deja vu its because you have been there in a previous life. How many times have you met someone and for absolutely no reason felt drawn to them? Again because you have met them in a previous life. On a personal note my best friend of almost 30 years was also my first girlfriend and we both know we have spent time together before.

 

I just can't believe that karma from this life will affect our next life or that karma from my previous lives has played a part in my current position. Is there a way to prove this or at least a case to be made?

 

I agree its unprovable BUT work on the fact its all a load of BS there is no karma or afterlife isn't Buddhism still a great way to enjoy this life?

 

From a philosophical point of view I really like Buddhism and think it adds a lot of wonderful thought to our world.

 

Excellent!

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I kinda see it differently. Joy is an emotion and a pleasant one at that. IMO suffering comes from attachment to the feeling joy gives so when there is no joy the craving starts along with suffering. I know it sounds like I am splitting hairs stay with me. It also applies to all emotions both good and bad. Take love for example its feel great when you are in it and hurts like hell when you are not, yes? Anger, resentment, jealousy all emotions which is attached to cause suffering.

 

Learning not to attach to any emotion and simply accept it means when it isn't there there is no craving so no suffering. This way the attachment becomes the problem not the emotion so regardless of the current emotional state you are in as long as you realize it will come and go at will then you learn to simply accept without attachment.

 

Out of all the Buddhist stuff I learned this was the hardest for me to grasp but has proven to be easily the most important thing.

 

I see it this way:  Any upset is at its' core, caused by the way you want things to be, contrasted with the way things actually are.  (It should/shouldn't be this way!)

 

Expectations lead to disappointments.  some of the time anyways.  Not having expectations would be another way to describe  detachment, maybe?

 

Being "with" things exactly the way they are, and also exactly the way they aren't is a great way to be, and to strive for being.  ongoingly.

 

I could definitely do with a stint in a monastery... Maybe when I am there longer I will try a 3 day one...  Not on my upcoming 3 week trip tho...  

 

Oh, one thing nobody asked, but you do have to shave your head, yes?

 

Already ahead (no pun intended) of the game there, 555!

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I see it this way:  Any upset is at its' core, caused by the way you want things to be, contrasted with the way things actually are.  (It should/shouldn't be this way!)

 

Expectations lead to disappointments.  some of the time anyways.  Not having expectations would be another way to describe  detachment, maybe?

 

Being "with" things exactly the way they are, and also exactly the way they aren't is a great way to be, and to strive for being.  ongoingly.

 

I could definitely do with a stint in a monastery... Maybe when I am there longer I will try a 3 day one...  Not on my upcoming 3 week trip tho...  

 

Oh, one thing nobody asked, but you do have to shave your head, yes?

 

Already ahead (no pun intended) of the game there, 555!

 

Absolutely agree and learning not to attach to the upsets frees you from the pain they can cause.

 

You learn simple acceptance of all things for what they truly are not what you would like them to be. Unfortunately our ego causes us to have expectations which as you know are seldom met. I guess no expectations and detachment are kinda the same but hard to apply no expectations to emotions don't you think?

 

When the time is right you will stay at a Temple.

 

Funny I have shaved my head for years every week. As a Monk you can only shave once a month so it was longer when I was a Monk than a lay person. Oh you also have to shave your eyebrows....

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Absolutely agree and learning not to attach to the upsets frees you from the pain they can cause.

 

You learn simple acceptance of all things for what they truly are not what you would like them to be. Unfortunately our ego causes us to have expectations which as you know are seldom met. I guess no expectations and detachment are kinda the same but hard to apply no expectations to emotions don't you think?

 

When the time is right you will stay at a Temple.

 

Funny I have shaved my head for years every week. As a Monk you can only shave once a month so it was longer when I was a Monk than a lay person. Oh you also have to shave your eyebrows....

 

 

I like distinguishing (or detaching from is another way to describe) the expectation that is causing the upset!!!  I find when I distinguish the cause of the upset (expectation versus reality), something shows up and the suffering diminishes!  Distinguishing the expectation takes the power away from it, I find.  Key is to remember to do this when upset, haha!  

 

I can have no expectations and be absolutely delighted with something or someone...  when I start to future trip and maneuver things to get my way, then I am back in the vicious cycle...  which I do over and over because that's what human beans do.  it's when I have an agenda and am trying to arrange the world to fit it, that I (we?) end up going sideways... over and over, haha.

 

an example I can think of for being delighted without any expectation is when I am riding my bike on the ocean path in LA... as people go whizzing by in the other direction, I find myself having a huge, shit eating grin, looking them right in the eye, and feeling love for each person passing...  I get blissed out... also with kids, anywhere, I go there... just delight and love...

 

wow, only shave your head once a month?  and eyebrows too?  that would be new for me, both!  been shaving my head since Telly Savalis died...

 

I will do this Monk thing someday, for sure, it's on my bucket list now, so thanks friend!

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I like distinguishing (or detaching from is another way to describe) the expectation that is causing the upset!!!  I find when I distinguish the cause of the upset (expectation versus reality), something shows up and the suffering diminishes!  Distinguishing the expectation takes the power away from it, I find.  Key is to remember to do this when upset, haha!  

 

I can have no expectations and be absolutely delighted with something or someone...  when I start to future trip and maneuver things to get my way, then I am back in the vicious cycle...  which I do over and over because that's what human beans do.  it's when I have an agenda and am trying to arrange the world to fit it, that I (we?) end up going sideways... over and over, haha.

 

an example I can think of for being delighted without any expectation is when I am riding my bike on the ocean path in LA... as people go whizzing by in the other direction, I find myself having a huge, shit eating grin, looking them right in the eye, and feeling love for each person passing...  I get blissed out... also with kids, anywhere, I go there... just delight and love...

 

wow, only shave your head once a month?  and eyebrows too?  that would be new for me, both!  been shaving my head since Telly Savalis died...

 

I will do this Monk thing someday, for sure, it's on my bucket list now, so thanks friend!

 

 

Detach from everything and then you happily live your life in your own happy bubble. Detaching from people and relationships takes all the pressure and expectation away so you are left with what truly is there.

 

been shaving my head since Telly Savalis died...

 

Been shaving mine since he was born!

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Absolutely agree and learning not to attach to the upsets frees you from the pain they can cause.

 

You learn simple acceptance of all things for what they truly are not what you would like them to be. Unfortunately our ego causes us to have expectations which as you know are seldom met. I guess no expectations and detachment are kinda the same but hard to apply no expectations to emotions don't you think?

 

When the time is right you will stay at a Temple.

 

Funny I have shaved my head for years every week. As a Monk you can only shave once a month so it was longer when I was a Monk than a lay person. Oh you also have to shave your eyebrows....

 

It's funny I had never noticed that part of the 'monk style' but I had noticed something was odd about the way they looked besides the shaved scalp. It was not until I was at a funeral recently where a few of the deceased's mates were shaved and robed for the funeral that I saw them take off the eyebrows too. 

 

As to shaving monthly... lunar month or calendar month? Big communal shaving party?

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It's funny I had never noticed that part of the 'monk style' but I had noticed something was odd about the way they looked besides the shaved scalp. It was not until I was at a funeral recently where a few of the deceased's mates were shaved and robed for the funeral that I saw them take off the eyebrows too. 

 

As to shaving monthly... lunar month or calendar month? Big communal shaving party?

 

The Vinnaya says a Monk can leave his hair to grow for a maximum of 2 months but they all do it monthly. You are correct Its done based on the lunar calendar.

 

No shaving party everyone does it in their kuti the afternoon before the full moon.

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Para, is that profile picture you? Have you been practising some kind of flagellation ritual? What for?

 

Damn busted always loved a bit of self abuse!

 

Its actually a Buddhist Sak Yant for protection I was told there were 3 people that wanted to kill me which was a result I always thought there were a lot more ;-).

 

Most people have them done in ink but I wanted an invisible one done so the Sak was done without ink. When it was done to show its 'protective power' he took out a meat cleaver and started smashing me to bits with it. Whilst it didn't hurt in the slightest he did catch my shoulder bone and opened it up. Popped down to the hospital for some stitches and when I took my top off the nurses went crazy had to get the GF to explain.

 

As it turned out there were 3 times I was involved in incidents and the doctors said after there was no way I should of survived.

 

Here are a couple of bigger pictures. If you looked between the chop marks you can see the scribbles of the Sak.

 

DSC01586.jpg

 

DSC01585.jpg

 

DSC01592.jpg

DSC01582.jpg

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Bit severe ^

 

Ever thought of writing a book?  

 

I guess but hey no pain no gain right?

 

Book? No chance I would have arrest warrants for so many countries and that's without the additional problems I would have here. Maybe when I retire and am too old to care about being nicked again.....

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Para, do Buddhists have the concept of "sin", as people brought up in Christian cultures understand it, and "confession"/ forgiveness of sin / reconciliation, as we would understand it?

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Seems you have quite a story to tell.  I have always said to BM's on this forum you never know who you are rubbing shoulders (pardon the pun) with out in Pattaya.  I met an ex UDA commander from Northern Ireland who can never return home or to the UK,  i spent a few days drinking/mongering with and some of the detailed stories he told me were incredible.

Doubters on here will say "yeah right, anybody could come out with this shit"  but the places this guy was taking me and the people we were meeting ( all Northern Irishmen) way off the beaten track eventually got me a scared enough  to realize i didn't want to be around them anymore, I'm a big guy, no newbie and can look after myself but I could just sense there was something not good going on,  the way they spoke to and treated Thai people, they had Thai's running errands for them and it was as if the Thai's were a bit afraid of them,  they all had apartments, no hotels, and Marijuana was free flowing etc.  I  switched my hotel to the other side of town.    Got outa there.

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Para, do Buddhists have the concept of "sin", as people brought up in Christian cultures understand it, and "confession"/ forgiveness of sin / reconciliation, as we would understand it?

 

Yes we do but its a bit more complicated than the Christian way. In Christianity you do something bad tell a priest Repent and all is forgiven off you pop to heaven (supposedly) great so all you do if confess all on your death bed no time to Repent and a sick pedo gets a free pass through the pearly gates.

 

Christianity is a one shot deal no rebirth only upstairs or downstairs right? To me thats BS because where is the accountability for your actions? Where is your chance to put right what you have done wrong?

 

Buddhism is ruled by karma and the joy/threat of rebirth. BTW there is no such thing as reincarnation in Buddhism you do not come back as the same person but are reborn into human or animal form.

 

This is why Thai's make merit and take care of Monks the way they do as a form of trying to clear what they have done wrong in the past. As I said before your next life is based on what you do in this one.

 

Buddhists have something similar to the 10 Commandments called the 5 or 8 precepts. A lay Buddhist is expected to follow the basic 5 precepts....

 

1.     I undertake the training rule to abstain from taking life.     

2.     I undertake the training rule to abstain from taking what is not given.

3.     I undertake the training rule to abstain from sexual misconduct.

4.     I undertake the training rule to abstain from false speech.

5.     I undertake the training rule to abstain from fermented drink that causes heedlessness.

 

Most skip the 5th one though.

 

Strict Buddhist follows will follow 8 precepts which add the following 3.

 

6.    I undertake to abstain from eating at the wrong time (the right time is after sunrise, before noon).

7.    I undertake to abstain from singing, dancing, playing music, attending entertainment performances, wearing perfume, and using cosmetics and garlands (decorative accessories).

8.     I undertake to abstain from luxurious places for sitting or sleeping, and overindulging in sleep.

 

And Monks follow 10 precepts adding the following 2.

 

9.    Refrain from unchastity (sensuality, sexuality, lust).

10.   Refrain from accepting money.

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Seems you have quite a story to tell.  I have always said to BM's on this forum you never know who you are rubbing shoulders (pardon the pun) with out in Pattaya.  I met an ex UDA commander from Northern Ireland who can never return home or to the UK,  i spent a few days drinking/mongering with and some of the detailed stories he told me were incredible.

Doubters on here will say "yeah right, anybody could come out with this shit"  but the places this guy was taking me and the people we were meeting ( all Northern Irishmen) way off the beaten track eventually got me a scared enough  to realize i didn't want to be around them anymore, I'm a big guy, no newbie and can look after myself but I could just sense there was something not good going on,  the way they spoke to and treated Thai people, they had Thai's running errands for them and it was as if the Thai's were a bit afraid of them,  they all had apartments, no hotels, and Marijuana was free flowing etc.  I  switched my hotel to the other side of town.    Got outa there.

 

I don't hide the fact I have lived quite a life but then again I don't go into details especially on a public forum. All my family are from South London and I lived between there and Bethnal Green in East London all my life so I have experiences that go with those places. Difference was I had a outrageously paid legal job so was earning more straight than my mates were bent. I would like to think I am a reasonable enough fella to talk to and have a drink with but as you say you never know who you are drinking with hence the reason I both show and kinda expect respect when out. I might of been a Monk for a year but I was a very different person all the other.

 

The real bad people never advertise it because they know who they are its only the kids that try and intimidate that brag and name drop. Problem with Pattaya is it is full of cardboard gangsters all talking large but unable to back up a fraction of it. People that know me understand me people that don't often misjudge me and thats when the fun starts. People take politeness as a sign of weakness but all the well known naughty London people I know and have met have always been polite, in the first instance!

 

I got caught up in a very bad situation a few years back in Patts with an ex-IRA boy I was matchmaking him and someone I knew and it all went south I soon had a gun at my head. Not the first time and I doubt it will be the last you just have to know when to get out and when to front it.

 

Being a Monk was so much nicer!

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^ To be fair, I don't think the characterisation of Catholic confession is entirely accurate. The idea is that God's forgiveness reflects the nature of God - without limit, eternal and so on. But only if you sincerely Repent. You can't just do what you want and on your deathbed go "hah, hah, I confess - take me to heaven" and (as most confessions aren't actually on death beds) you'd be expected to demonstrate repentence by living a good life afterwards.

 

But anyway ...

 

A lot of those precepts are analogous to the 10 Commandments, I notice:

 

 

1. I undertake the training rule to abstain from taking life. Thou shalt not kill
2. I undertake the training rule to abstain from taking what is not given. Though shalt not steal
3. I undertake the training rule to abstain from sexual misconduct. Thou shalt not commit adultery/covet thy neighbour's wife
4. I undertake the training rule to abstain from false speech. Thou shalt not bear false witness
5. I undertake the training rule to abstain from fermented drink that causes heedlessness. Umm, I can't remember all of them, but you get the drift

 

And some of the others are variations on behaviour and dietary laws in Leviticus, for example.

 

Do you think that the basic moral precepts of major religions are essentially the same?

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"Yes we do but its a bit more complicated than the Christian way. In Christianity you do something bad tell a priest Repent and all is forgiven off you pop to heaven (supposedly) great so all you do if confess all on your death bed no time to Repent and a sick pedo gets a free pass through the pearly gates.

 

Christianity is a one shot deal no rebirth only upstairs or downstairs right? To me thats BS because where is the accountability for your actions? Where is your chance to put right what you have done wrong?"

 

So, 

Your Fairy Tale beliefs are of a superior nature to the Christians Fairy Tale beliefs? 

 

How do the Buddhists deal with Pedos ?

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I understand what you are saying and was being slightly dramatic about the ease of redemption but the fact remains you can live the majority of you life as a total dog then realize it and though confession and repenting be totally forgiven? So you pay back all the bad through repenting but who decides if you have repented enough to balance out your bad deeds?

 

Also the concept of just one good place and one bad place is so different from Buddhism. Because life is eternal even if you end up in Naraka (hell) its for a fixed time then you get another chance. Actually Buddhist hell is an amazing subject as there are many hundreds of different types with the time spent in each measured is millions of years some were you are only alive for seconds before being crushed then reborn back and dead in seconds but thats another subject.

 

Do you think that the basic moral precepts of major religions are essentially the same?

 

I wont get into the whole Buddhism isn't a religion because in this instance I totally agree with you. Any religion or way of life that encourages peace and happiness towards ALL has to be a good thing right?

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Your Fairy Tale beliefs are of a superior nature to the Christians Fairy Tale beliefs?

 

Where have I said Buddhism is superior? All sinbad5 and myself are doing is discussing differences between what we believe in a constructive way.

 

How do the Buddhists deal with Pedos ?

 

Karma

 

How does God deal with them?

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Interesting thread and thanks for sharing. I must admit that the cynic in me has always found it hard to take Farangs indulging in Buddhism too seriously, kind of like the tourists that go to Scotland and wear kilts or westerners in Chinatown wearing chinese suits. Main reasons is that as far as I know there is no room for ego in bhuddism but every westerner who claims to practice it wants to tell the world and wear it like a badge which to me equates to ego. It is probaly not that way just at times is how it seems. However I  enjoy your thread for the insight to an aspect of Thailand that I have never experienced(and probably never will).  I do appreciate the charms of the buddhist ways and believe if the western world was brought up on bhuddist values, we might be in a better place. Still it would probably end up like Christianity and be abused.  Thanks again for sharing

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Interesting thread and thanks for sharing. I must admit that the cynic in me has always found it hard to take Farangs indulging in Buddhism too seriously, kind of like the tourists that go to Scotland and wear kilts or westerners in Chinatown wearing chinese suits. Main reasons is that as far as I know there is no room for ego in bhuddism but every westerner who claims to practice it wants to tell the world and wear it like a badge which to me equates to ego. It is probaly not that way just at times is how it seems. However I  enjoy your thread for the insight to an aspect of Thailand that I have never experienced(and probably never will).  I do appreciate the charms of the buddhist ways and believe if the western world was brought up on bhuddist values, we might be in a better place. Still it would probably end up like Christianity and be abused.  Thanks again for sharing

 

 

Your cynicism is understandable and for many cases sadly justified. For me I have lived permanently in Thailand for over 10 years and was ordained for a lot longer than most.

 

Buddhism is all about extinguishing the ego to allow you to see clearly as you so correctly say. As for people wanting to tell the world is that bragging, pride or in my case wanting to share? I guess all 3 depending on the reason the person ordained.

 

Buddhism is spreading fast through the Western world as people seem better able to relate to the teachings but as has already sadly been proved here in Thailand with Wat Dhammakaya and its followers where the Abbot is driven around in a brand new Rolls Royce any religion/teaching can spur into a cult.

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Interesting thread and thanks for sharing. I must admit that the cynic in me has always found it hard to take Farangs indulging in Buddhism too seriously, kind of like the tourists that go to Scotland and wear kilts or westerners in Chinatown wearing chinese suits. Main reasons is that as far as I know there is no room for ego in bhuddism but every westerner who claims to practice it wants to tell the world and wear it like a badge which to me equates to ego. It is probaly not that way just at times is how it seems. However I  enjoy your thread for the insight to an aspect of Thailand that I have never experienced(and probably never will).  I do appreciate the charms of the buddhist ways and believe if the western world was brought up on bhuddist values, we might be in a better place. Still it would probably end up like Christianity and be abused.  Thanks again for sharing

 

 

Your cynicism is understandable and for many cases sadly justified. For me I have lived permanently in Thailand for over 10 years and was ordained for a lot longer than most.

 

Buddhism is all about extinguishing the ego to allow you to see clearly as you so correctly say. As for people wanting to tell the world is that bragging, pride or in my case wanting to share? I guess all 3 depending on the reason the person ordained.

 

Buddhism is spreading fast through the Western world as people seem better able to relate to the teachings but as has already sadly been proved here in Thailand with Wat Dhammakaya and its followers where the Abbot is driven around in a brand new Rolls Royce any religion/teaching can spur into a cult.

Thanks for taking my post for what it was and not getting offended.

Also appreciate the time you are taking in responding to our posts. I can definitely agree that buddhism is popular because it is easier to relate to. Probably also popular due to our societies faith organisation's letting us down.

Sent from my GT-N7105 using Tapatalk 2

 

 

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Thanks for taking my post for what it was and not getting offended. Also appreciate the time you are taking in responding to our posts. I can definitely agree that buddhism is popular because it is easier to relate to. Probably also popular due to our societies faith organisation's letting us down. Sent from my GT-N7105 using Tapatalk 2

 

There was nothing in your post to be offended by it was a constructive opinion.

 

I am happy answering anything posted even the occasional hostile ones for the simple fact people seem to have questions about Buddhism and being a Monk but no access to answers. I wish I was able to talk to an English/Farrang Monk years ago.

 

I think your reasoning behind the growth of Buddhism in the west is true. There have been far too many scandals with western religions and the CofE report declining numbers every year so I guess a void has been formed that Buddhism is filling.

 

People will always need a reason for life and something to lean on when times are hard.

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