Giving Alms to Monks in Bangkok

Theravāda in the 21st century - modern applications of ancient wisdom

Giving Alms to Monks in Bangkok

Postby dcs » Sat Feb 11, 2012 6:35 pm

Greetings everyone,

I will be traveling to Bangkok very soon and I would like to ask what is the proper procedure for donating alms-food to a monk on the street? Do I just walk up to them? What should I say to a monk if I'm interested in donating alms-food to him? Also, what kinds of food/things am I allowed or is considered proper to donate? Any information and advice on how to not embarrass myself would be much appreciated.
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Re: Giving Alms to Monks in Bangkok

Postby Virgo » Sat Feb 11, 2012 6:40 pm

Hi,

It's a very easy process. Just get there nice and early. You want to know the route that monks take on their alms round so you can find them. Alternatively, you can just wait outside a monastery as you will be able to see them. Any food you wish to give is fine, but give the best you can. Simply stand there (there will likely be many other people doing the same) and when the monk comes up, give alms. They will know what you are there for.

Kevin
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Re: Giving Alms to Monks in Bangkok

Postby Goofaholix » Sat Feb 11, 2012 7:03 pm

Virgo wrote:It's a very easy process. Just get there nice and early. You want to know the route that monks take on their alms round so you can find them. Alternatively, you can just wait outside a monastery as you will be able to see them. Any food you wish to give is fine, but give the best you can. Simply stand there (there will likely be many other people doing the same) and when the monk comes up, give alms. They will know what you are there for.


Just to clarify nice and early means dawn or soon after, and any food means any food that doesn't require cooking.
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Re: Giving Alms to Monks in Bangkok

Postby Lampang » Sun Feb 12, 2012 12:45 am

If you're staying in a hotel, just ask there. Thais are generally - and no doubt rightly - very proud of their country and traditions and when a foreigner expresses a genuine interest, they'll almost always fall over themselves to help.
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Re: Giving Alms to Monks in Bangkok

Postby appicchato » Sun Feb 12, 2012 1:21 am

There's a little more to it than has been mentioned...if/when you see a monk walking, it's proper etiquette to wai and say 'nimon'(nee-mohn)...he will know that you would like to make an offering and direct himself towards you...wai again and place what you want to offer into his bowl and wai again...he may, or may not, chant, but if he does continue to wai until he finishes, usually just a matter of seconds...he will then continue on and you the same...
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Re: Giving Alms to Monks in Bangkok

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Feb 12, 2012 1:36 am

Giving to monks on alms round is a great experience. In a big place like Bangkok there will be lots of lay people out on the street, so you can soon figure out what the procedure is. And in a busy place like Bangkok, there will often be a lay helper who extracts the alms out of the bowl so that the monk can do a reasonable circuit, otherwise he might fill up his bowl in two minutes.... I've been out on alms round like the guy mentioned in this blog: http://bangkokgirllife.blogspot.co.nz/2 ... steps.html but I was with one monk and came back with three bags of food (which was then taken to the kitchen in the Wat for distribution).

:anjali:
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