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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Buddhism and thaibuddhism in Isaan

There is a lot I like about Buddhism. There is nothing to believe, there are no commandments and there is no "Rome" or hierarchy. I learned about anicca, anatta and dukkha. I studied the Brahma Viharas I lived in Forest Wats and Cave Wats where simplicity as taught by the Buddha lives on to this day.
From Roi-Et 10.06.11

Then I came to Thailand and was introduced to "thaibuddhism., I learned that simplicity and the elegance are frowned upon. I see that materialism, greed, desire and; excess are what most strive for.
The other day in Roi-Et I came upon to examples of what I am talking about. The Chedi pictured in the album has no purpose that I can find in Buddhism. The placed was locked tight. And the genius that designed it forgot to put a lock on the outside, so they have a door chained from the inside that can be opened a few centimeters so you can get your hand in to unlock it. Also noticee the posh house behind the chedi. If this place is to honor the Buddha someone should clean the pond, cut the grass and empty the trash.

The location for the photo above was sent to me on twitter, and the person asked if I knew what this eyesore was. Now I do. thaibuddhism presents a shrine to excess and ostentation. I was tol it is a "Wat Pa' (Forest Wat). No forest no trees, no kutis ( where forest monks sleep. It does have 2 lovely suburban style homes with growling guard dogs. Huge staues from the "Big Buddhas R US" shop. the place is garish and is featured in "pictionary" for an examle of realy poor taste. I guess I'll head back to the mountains for a bit of sila , samadhi and panna.