Sunday, November 25, 2012
Offering Food Thai Style and Buddhist Style Kathin 2012 Sakon Nakhon, Thailand
At the city wat there is more deference shone the masters, that is the Thai Government Officers and other VIPs, than shown the Bhikkhu Sangha, and normal people are treated like serfs or less, kept in the hot sun or the rain as the case may be.
Sometimes there are marching bands and dancing girls and boys for entertainment. As Ajahn Chah was known to say What would the Buddha do? Certainly not the antics I and others see in these entertainment centers calling them Buddhist Monasteries.
Then there are the forest wats in the lineage of the Buddha and those who follow in his path. There are no huge buildings there is no special treatment or special seats or special places. In Buddhism it is called Dana Sila I guess in the city wats it is Drama in Season.
After seeing and recording more noise and voodoo at Wat Phra That Choeng Chum I managed to escape to my Parish Monastery, Wat Pa Klang Nong Phu for Kathina. Our usual dozen or so were reinforced by 100s of visitors and a feeling of respect and moderation and the Dhamma was pervasive.
Many folks had stayed overnight and khao khee and warm drinks were available. As the time aproached to Sai Bhat (fill the bowls of the monks) the skies opened, the rains came and Bhikkhu and supporters ran for cover. At the event were only 2 groups, The Bhikkhu Sangha and us. No VIPS or Special Guests, sort of like the Buddha described it. The Monks to provide food for the spirit and we food for the body.
The Jao a Wat, Senior Monk decided cramped as it might be we would Sai Bhat in the Sala. An event that was elegant in it's simplicity, just as the Buddha taught.
It is an honor to be part of a 2500 year old tradition practiced as it was taught.
Stand by more of the story to come.