A Chat with Monks

Some of the Buddhist temples in Chiang Mai have a monk chat program where you can talk with the monks and learn about their lifestyle. Today at Wat Chedi Luang I asked these three–what makes a person decide to become a monk?

They answered–the opportunity for higher education; to be able to attain more in your life than your socioeconomic status would otherwise allow; to find inner peace.

Their responses were surprising and humbling because I suddenly realized I had looked at this choice as one of self-restriction instead of empowerment. And–they reminded me how travel changes you.

 

Before I left, I asked which book they recommended a beginner read to learn more about Buddhist philosophy. They didn’t recommend a book, but YouTube videos! Yes, monks have cell phones. I didn’t understand what name they gave me at first so they wrote a note in my phone. They recommended talks by Ajahn Brahm, who I was surprised to learn is a Brit!

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After watching some of his talks, I can see why Brahm is so popular; He’s a vivid story teller and he has a wicked sense of humor. Here’s a video of a talk I loved, titled, ‘Learn to be at peace with yourself‘.

What travel experience changed your perception about something? Share!

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