08 May, 2009

Suffering Without A Camera Battery

There are times when you leave the mind and body connection and today was just one of those days. After taking the boat to the pier close to some temples I wanted to visit, I walked in the hot sun with the brain still ticking, constantly asking ….how will my stay at a temple change me?

I have already met and talked to a couple of people. Yesterday, while waiting to have my hair cut a monk walked in. He was tired from a bus ride back to Bangkok from Chiang Rai. We talked until it was my time for the chair came up and I offered to him. He said, “You go ahead.” A quick buzz later, and before biding good-bye offered to get him something cool, and again he said, “ No, thank you.” This short encounter showed me some of his wisdom and pure heart. He was friendly and interested in me as an equal …albeit suffering person.

Back to today, I walked to Wat Ratchapradit, just in time to sit and watch and pray with the Monks. They do it all in Pali, but the first prayer of refuge is to Buddha, Dharma and Sangha(Buddham saranam gacchami). That I can join in, knowing it in English, but thinking about next month I’m curious how much Pali I will have to learn. It was just me and older folks in a beautiful painted temple. Oh, wait I am old, I'm one of those, sorry I forgot. I watched the monks when they entered and during the prayers, holding hands in prayer for an hour(difficulty), and few times they would glance at the asperas painted on the wall above. It was hot, even with the fans in the temple, and I saw a couple of older people fight sleeping. But extreme peace came over me and made me separate mind and body. I moved with purpose with this calm.

I did not take photos after my battery needing charging from earlier. It was just as well. I think it would have been rude. Just outside I had a talk with a sangha member, who was in a chair because it hurts too much to sit. I sat down and talked to him, peaceful and attentive to his questions. The number one question I get is, You are not Christian???? Once I get past this, it seems to open a door with everyone including my cab driver later. I am a farang in looks only, but we all bleed the same!

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