I hear that and keeping an eye on things as best as I can. I would like to spend at least a decade or two in Asia and hope to get it done before I have to worry more about the heat turning the tarmac to liquid, which is more of a concern imho. A few more degrees up and rice won't grow anymore, then it will probably be time to run like hell away. Political unrest, when does that ever end, really, anywhere?gavesako wrote:Better follow the news about Thailand to make sure your plane has somewhere to land: the political turmoil seems to be increasing again with rioting exected (at least if you stay in Bangkok for a while).
To be fair, it is about as heavy as I have seen it here in the west too. So we are increasingly all on the same page anyways. If we can avoid ww3 we are breaking even.appicchato wrote:gavesako wrote:Better follow the news about Thailand...
More than thirty unbroken years here, and it's the heaviest I've seen it...as we speak...and seemingly no way out...
Thanks FijiNut. All the best with your plans, I suggest you prepare well in the interim by conforming your habits and lifestyle as much as possible to the vinaya standards. I've been fortunate in many regards. For one thing I have a solid meditation practice and while I do hope to find a good community with excellent Dhamma/Vinaya I am probably going to be less dependent than others may be for meditation teachings. Hopefully I can get some solid Abhidhamma training out there and a lot of good experience on the ground. I'm really looking forward to it as I haven't yet been overseas. I realize it is a tricky time to go so things are all kind of tentative.fijiNut wrote:Nathan,
I am following your posting very closely as I hope to also hope go forth at one point in life when the conditions are ripe, in the Thai tradition, I on the other hand have a slight afinity towards Ajahn Anan teachings, though I haven't met him or even been in Thailand! I do hope go and visit Wat Marp Jan sometime this year for retreat.
All the best on this amazing journey you are about take!
May you be in association of Noble spiritual friends who can guide you along the Path!
May your aspirations be fulfilled this lifetime!
Yeah, great thoughts. I found just doing the anagarika program for a while in a wholehearted way was highly instructive. Showed me so many areas that needed a lot of work. The toughest adjustment was not eating after mid-day because you can find yourself working pretty hard even as a monk. I know it has been common in the Thai forest tradition for anagarikas to drop from exhaustion now and then in the first year or two. It is not extreme asceticism but it is not easy either. For me my life long challenge will be to simply shut up. So I have been trying to say and ask every stupid thing that might come to mind before I am wearing that uniform even though that can be a really stupid practice sometimes. I think just putting the robes on will, like any other uniform, come with great responsibilities to that order it represents and I will be both humbled and silenced to just note that color hanging there from my sleeve It would be inconceivable to me that I could just learn to carry myself like a bhikkhu without the guidance of senior and well practiced companions in the holy life to chasten and correct me and often until I learn better. For me that is the whole idea. Anyone can practice the path but the bhikkhu life is a support for a truly harmless and potentially blameless way of life, not that I should expect that I or anyone else would necessarily ever perfect that way of life. It is another kind of practice in itself in a way.fijiNut wrote:Nathan, The few things that I have been trying to do to prepare:1)Brahmacariya - this one goes against the grain, not so much the physical urges, but the mental beating that my mind gives when it tries to resist, this one is fun to mentally watch.2)Eating at appropriate times and in moderate amounts - not hard as my experience on retreats and mindfulness of eating have reduced my appetite drastically3)strong addithanna in meditation practice - tough cookie this one, sloth & torport hindrance is strong4)sleeping less - maybe 4-6 hours - also hard, same hindrance as in (3)5)learn a little more about Thai language and culture - funny tones and alphabets that looks like noodles, how bizzare!
The plan for me is, provided one enrols in a Thai language institute, there is a 1 year non-immigrant ED education visa to learn Thai (renewable for upto 3 years) I hope to make use of to both learn Thai and to scope out different monasteries and observe the different teachers, and to absorb the culture both inside and outside the monasteries.This would be to mitigate culture shock and having to adjust to too many things at once, and also to assess the monastery culture and abbot so to speak. This is how I would approach ordination in Thailand, but for now the reality is there is a major kammic obstruction in the form of parental and family consent.
We'll see how things go.
Keep in touch.
Thank you Ven. Appicchato, for sharing your insights and for the candid advice.appicchato wrote:Good wishes to both of you...FijiNut, and Nathan...
Reading the last couple of posts two things came to mind, one in each...first, the language...I may very well catch it from some direction but the bottom line is, you don't need it...not beyond basic communication...where's the bus station?, when's the next train?, how ya doin?,...I could go on but I think you get the gist...as I've eluded to in other posts Thais are not interested in 'philosophical' discussions (nor any other kind) with 'Falangs' (generally speaking, anyone not an Asian)...and if you travel around the country you'll see that Thais don't even understand each other, because those in the North don't speak anything like those in the South, even though they share the same language...and you won't be discussing Dhamma with monks either...because they don't discuss it amongst themselves...so, I would get myself a Lonely Planet phrasebook and dive into that...if you master what's in there you won't have any problems (and forget the 'tones' too, you'll pick those up as you learn new words and listen to people speak)...second, (Nathan) you won't get any guidance by any 'senior and well practiced companions'...you're on your own here...watch how they, the other monks (and lay people), do things and try to fit in...it'll all work out in the end...
Now, before anyone familiar with the monkhood and Thailand want to dispute my read on things, let me add the caveat that this view has been formed by my experience of more than thirty years in (every corner of)Thailand...granted, it won't be the same everywhere, nor for everyone...it's just that, my experience...
Again, best wishes to both of you in your endeavors...
nathan wrote:Hi fijiNut, all;
I was looking at FIji on the map and it is a little ways from where I will be roaming about, but not that far. Who knows which way the wind will blow and I plan to be a lot closer in a week than I am at this moment, that's for sure.
On the parental and familial approval front. I suggest you relax, keep the peace and let your virtues do the talking. I think as we get older one generally encounters a growing acceptance of who one is, for who they are, one way or another. My thinking is, make you the best you you can, knowing of course that it isn't really under your complete control anyways. You are, let's say, simply one of your biggest influences.
To be honest if anyone should ask how it is that I came to have an appreciation for what is noble and good I would tell them of my family. I would explain that from my father I have learned wisdom, from my mother I have learned compassion and from my sister I have learned about a virtue so strong and steady that it gives rise to an ever deepening ongoing purity of being even in this seemingly most difficult, complex and confusing age. I have been truly blessed to be born in among such kind, gentle, honest and hard working people who bring little but a mountain of meritorious thought, speech and action into the world. They set the bar high in my father's, father's house, and it is humbling. They are truly wealthy in much more than worldly things and I have never lacked much in any way for any good thing.
metta and upekkha