My Friend the Monk
... It’s been 2 months since I visited my friend Paiboon in the forest monastery of Wat Pa Don Hiay Soke, and I’ve finally finished the video interview I filmed with him there. I hope you enjoy it.
It was a tremendous learning experience for me, personally, spiritually, as well as technically. I’ve always wanted to visit with Paiboon again ever since I first visited him in 2007. I’ve had the idea of filming an interview with him for some time, to let Paiboon’s friends back in Singapore see how he’s doing and to see a little of what life is like in the forest monastery.
Somewhere along the line, during filming and editing, I realized that the story could be better served by concentrating on the content that was more universal, rather than simply personal, and more people could hopefully benefit from hearing Paiboon speak.http://21dragons.com/2011/announcing-project-monk
Just got back from a logistics meeting feeling incredibly excited about a new personal project I’m doing. Next Saturday I’m flying off to Udon Thani, a small town in Thailand, for about a week. I’m going to visit my friend Paiboon, who’s been a monk for the last five years, at the forest temple of Wat Pa Don Hiay Soke.
I last visited him four years ago; I told the story of my first visit to the forest temple and the subsequent 10 days in a Vipassana meditation retreat in the now retired Life Coaches Blog. I’ve always wanted to visit with him again, but I never got around to doing it.
Since those four years, I’ve polished my interviewing and photographic skills working as a full-time writer, and I dreamed up this idea of not just revisiting Paiboon, but applying my skills there to come back with a short video interview about his life as a monk in this remote forest temple.
I thought his friends back home would be curious to know why he gave up his secular life and career four years ago to become a monk, and especially curious about why he’s stayed a monk for the last five years, when at the beginning he only wanted to become one for three months. What has he gained that makes him prefer a life of austerity over a secular life, and what nuggets of wisdom can he share with us after following the Buddha’s path for half a decade? Does he ever think he’ll come back to a secular life, if not, why not?
Even though I’ve had this idea for some time, I procrastinated on it, telling myself that “I don’t have the time/money/expertise/equipment.” It wasn’t until I shared the idea with a close friend of mine that he pushed me and convinced me that not only could I do it, I had to do it, if only because the project scared and stretched me. And it spoke to my soul as part of my purpose; to live “a life of artistic expression and courageous exploration, inspired by love, wisdom and honor.”http://21dragons.com/2011/the-rainy-seasonhttp://21dragons.com/2011/sunday-dhamma ... m-the-city