Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Glance into Buddhism:

This was a young novice monk who locked up the temple after us, when we left.

Late this afternoon we visited a monk at a temple in town. He told us about the tenets of Buddhism. Jack and Khem translated. We ordinary folk are bound by by only five Buddhist "rules for living a good life": Do not kill, lie, steal, have an affair or drink alcohol. Buddhist nuns who wear white, not the orange robes of monks, have 8 tenets to follows, novice monks have 10, and full blown monks who have devoted their lives to Buddhism have 227.

The monk who spoke with us became a monk when he was 15. He taught us how to meditate in the Buddhist way--sitting and breathing in a certain manner, while pushing away all thoughts and emptying one's mind. If we do this often enough, we, too, could hope to one day find enlightenment, which is the attainment of wisdom and knowledge. Monks who reach enlightenment are sometimes able to see into the past, present and future in a special way--some can even predict the future.

Before we left, we signed the monk's book and gave him our contact information in case he ever comes to America. He would like to do so one day so that he can teach his people about it. The monks maintain many schools and day care centers here and some of the volunteers work in them.

During the rainy season, they generally do not leave the temple grounds. Mosquitoes are present then and monks do not kill anything, even mosquitoes. Guess by staying home they avoid the worst of them!

The temple grounds also are hangouts for many dogs, who know they can get a free meal and won't be mistreated. You can hear chanting in the temples morning and evening as the monks perform their rituals.


  1. Hmmm. It sounds like the Buddhist "rules for living a good life" are very similar to God's laws as taught in the Christian Bible.

    Thank you so much for this extraordinary glimpse into Buddhism. You are going to have many books to write when you get home!

    Again...love the photos!

    Sara and Eddie

  2. i think chuck could be a monk...he doesnt kill anything. Well, except for the occasional cockroach in my sink drain....ok, maybe he couldnt be a monk afterall. Oh well.

  3. yeah I cockroaches get the axe! :)