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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Remembering Ajahn Mun in Sakon Nakhon, Thailand. Forest Buddhism

Ajahn Mun died at 0223h on the 11th of Novenmber 1949. He had spent his last years at a hermitage at Nong Phue, Sakon Nakhon. Ajahn Mun was to Kammathana Dhutanga Buddhism in Thailand perhaps like Saint Patrick to Catholicism in Irealand, But, the reach and the impact Mun had on Buddhism and the people that support that Sangha has a much longer reach. Ajahn Mun's students have opened monasteries in countries around the world, They can be seen and heard on YouTube teaching a Buddhism without the superstition, without the voodoo, without the need for huge gaudy statues and buildings. The books of their teaching are distributed for free.They teach and conduct themselves as the Buddha taught and lived.
The occasion of his death coincided with Kathin this year. at Wat Pa Phurritat, as the hermitage is now called. The local communities had set up booths to provide food to those 1000s of people who arrived. Most of the people that arrived are students and followers of what Ajahn Mun taught, but hard economic times bring people from the area simply looking for a free meal and those making merit do not and can not differenciate.
Phii Jahn and Daeng had gone to deliver food to the village booth and I had gone into the wat too look around, the truck was locked and we had left a couple things in the bed. On returning to the truck I saw two teenage boys and a girl at the truck 1 of them getting ready to carry away the veg. This kid was so high on drugs that his feet weren't hitting the ground. To Make a long story short he left without the vegetables.
I can understand what is happening here and it is good that we can help provide a meal to the poor as the government of Thailand has no interest in providing food, social services, education or decent medical care to the people.The Thai Buddhist monasteries in the cities have little time for those who cannot pay their way. It is fitting that the people of the lineage of the Buddha, and those who follow on the Path of the Arahants keep that which is truly Buddhism alive selflessly in this land of excessive consumption and narcissism.