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November 12, 2007

Teachings In Bangkok

We left Kuala Lumpur to Bangkok on November 9. It was a very meaningful dharma trip organized by a group of Thai devotees, Irene and friends. There were teachings, pujas, blessings and interaction between Tibetan Buddhism and Thai Buddhist. I presented myself as an example of being a Tibetan Buddhist practitioner with a very open mind and showing the equal respect to Theravadan teachings and practitioners. This was done through my explanation in Theravadan teachings that it is all interrelated and it is necessary to practice to achieve the purpose of becoming a Buddhist especially to become a Buddha. And without mastering all the teachings that Buddha have thought, it is impossible to become omniscient. It is important to clear whatever doubts between the limited knowledge of some Theravadan practitioners towards the Mahayana practitioners specially Vajrayana practitioners, which is actually the same as the Theravadan practice. I tried to prove it with logic, reasons and quotes from Buddha himself that this different form of teaching such as Theravadan teachings, Bodhisattvayana teachings and Tantrayana teachings are all Buddha’s teachings except that it’s taught in different “yanas”. This is because of the mental disposition of the different practitioners. I also told them about the great vajrayana ritual practices are not a form of superstitious. It is in fact a form of symbolism of the different stages of the 84,000 teachings. I emphasized ways to be a pure Buddhist is to take refuge and that refuge is the same whether they are Theravadan or Mahayanic practitioners.

There were over 200 people who expressed their appreciation and claim that the essence of the teachings had awaken their mind. I can tell that they respect the teachings especially my emphasis to proper gurus and tradition such as the importance to rely on His Holiness Dalai Lama. I also tried to connect this group of people directly to His Holiness, to follow his advice and to take him as the fellow of tradition and no matter whatever dharma books they should be reading. This was highly appreciated by them and they feel so blessed by this.

It was a very successful trip because the event was well organized. The organizer advertised this teaching event through television, radio, newspaper, posters and magazine. In fact, I regard the turnout as a great achievement. Everyone requested me to return soon and I am very sure there will be a bigger crowd next time.

With the blessings of the gurus, I really like to thank LDC Director and fellow members who strongly supported me to be there. Special thanks to the organizer and their teams for making my first trip to Thailand so memorable and beneficial. I can feel the karmic affinity in dharma with these wonderful people. In fact, I have tried to go to Thailand before but it never happen. So I regard this as a special event and we have definitely connected with dharma so we all pray for the best and rejoice.

It was amazing to explore the great holy sites. I don’t remember the names but I visited the largest reclining Buddha temple and there was one great golden stupa that hosted buddha’s relic. There were also many beautiful stupas in one medallion Buddha temple. It was really stunning. Every one was very respectful toward sanghas and I think they are also very interested in dharma especially to learn more about bodhisattva’s practices so I regard this as an auspicious start and I am sure it will be a success in the future. During the trip, I also met over 100 people from different countries such as China, Cambodia, Korea, Japan, Italy Germany, Russia, India, America, Canada, Egypt..etc. All these people had big smiles on their faces all the time and I was surprise when they requested me to take photographs with them. I can tell they are very happy with this meeting. I took this opportunity to make strong prayers by chanting of Om Ah Hum and requesting them to live happily and I explained to them the reasons they must be happy. I also told them we have definitely connected with a lot of auspiciousness. I can feel that I have connected with these people and will be going to these countries later to spread dharma. This special inspiration came to my mind.

We had the chance to try all sorts of Thai food. Even though I had gastric, I decided to give it a try and everything turned out to be very nice, my favorite food is Tom Yam. One night I called the delegates of LDC such as Ven Osel, Stanley, Emillie and Chung Han who informed me that some of them enjoyed the traditional massage very much. I too have my share of massage, pressing the points on my feet with my fingers while reading book on my bed.

We also visited the 4 face deity. It was interesting to see the different forms of worship and more interesting to hear the stories about it. Another fun place we visited was the night market. It was nice but I prefer the solace of my room.

On the last day we had some tour around the city, window shopping and then head straight to the airport.