Friday, 10 June 2011

The Secret Thai Buddhist Temple deep in the Jungle – Part 3

Continued from Part 1 and Part 2.

It should also be noted the Abbott was resolutely noncommercial in his approach not seeking or being particularly interested in donations and unusually for Thailand the temple didn’t sell Buddha statues or amulets. He remarked that the area was poor and that the locals had little for themselves and so would be wrong for the temple to seek scarce resources. The temple compound also housed a homeless mother and baby and an old man who both seemed happy and very grateful to be looked after. When my wife asked if he had a bank account to where we could send donations - he said not - remarking come back here if you choose and bring whatever donation you think appropriate.

His approach and attitude were remarkable particularly for Thailand where money is often an issue. It got me thinking - is this the real thing - an Abbott who truly had followed the message of the Buddha and has gone beyond attachment – attachment to making the temple – to being a success and wanting and desiring to be a successful Abbott of a successful temple and in so doing creates a place of true spiritual presence and good feeling – faithful to the path of the Buddha.

OR - is he just broken after 40 years of trying to achieve his dream and now being old and the temple only half-built is seeing his vision fleeting away? He looked old and ill it must be said and his face appeared sad. I don’t know is the true answer but I and my family feel drawn back to explore further and experience its unique and compelling feeling once again. Of all the temples in all the world I have visited this is the only one that draws me back.

"Though all his life a fool associates with a wise man, he no more comprehends the Truth than a spoon tastes the flavour of the soup" Buddha

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