21 June, 2009

Not Really a Conclusion

I am sitting here, in regular lay person’s clothes, and trying to pull out an impression quickly which is damn near impossible. But put it this way, I really don't want to leave. There is pervading peace here, it doesn't seem necessary to tell the whole story.
There are many posts, to go back and add in, as time was precious. It makes me happy to hear that the originator of this concept will take the robes, to get a feel for it. Hopefully, watching people change going through this made a great impression. I think it has finally hit him how lucky he is to be associated with a great wise person.
First, I have to say that the atmosphere comes from the top and that would be Dr. Aphisit who inspires all with loving kindness. He doesn’t even get firm in any way, and things get done by the novices, and it never seems to be a difficult chore. He will let them have time off to play and rest when it is too hot. My last night and I watched the novices at play, combining work with it, and no one got cross. Guiding others with wisdom, calmness and respect. He made a great example of where I am trying to head in this lifetime.

On Friday, I went to go arrange for a time to talk to him, and he said, “Quickly, go pack a small bag and take alms bowl, I think this is rare opportunity to go (in robes) to a Dhamma camp in Mae ai.” He drove us there. So, both of us went arriving before lunch, after stopping a near-by temple. We ran into a ex-german monk who made it clear to the other guy with me, it was not proper to carry money in a pouch around his neck. I was happy that I was not the critical one in this instance. It has been a work in progress just dealing with the other participant in this program and now I will have to room with him for a night and share a towel. Later, he had to wake up and turn on the light like seven times to write his dreams down and they were not really that profound. I think this all done for me to accept all that comes to me. If I am lucky I can take this difficult experience and use as a base with my old age that seems to be creeping in fast.

While there, the Dr got a call to go back to his Wat because equipment arrived to trim some trees. So his driver friend, took us up to the “camp.” Just below Wat Tha Ton, sat a lodge with great view of a river, hills, and Wats, and Buddha images nestled in a nearly Shangri La layout missing the snowy peaks. We met the monks and novices attending this event, and I have never seen so many smiles. We ate lunch, served by people in white who had take the precepts. I watched in shock when the other “farang,” jumped into his food before prayers. But no one made any notice, and this went on for the whole time we were there. These were totally accepting and non-judgmental monks, with some more wisdom that can hopefully rub off on me. We did sitting, walking and laying meditation, and learn to practice mindfulness in each with a great demonstration on prostrating very slowly. On break we walked to the top of Wat Tha Ton, marveling at our great luck.
The following day, Saturday we walked in line mindfully to the top again at dawn, to say prayers to the relics in the crystal pagoda at the top. When walking the monks lead the white clothed(in precepts), and I loved talking to a couple of novices, but forgot to get their contact to follow their progress and to inspire me.
More later.

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