Presenting Buddha Image: Dinner at the Temple

By: Dawn SRV

Aug 03 2012

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Category: My side of the coin

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“Come, have your meal first. Then we can start the chanting.” The abbot told us kindly. We looked at each other reluctantly.
Two months earlier, my brother had been asked if he would wish to donate a presiding Buddha image in a remote country temple’s hall. That – for a Thai – is the high level of merit one can make, providing a Buddha image to people in need. So, he accepted and the family was there for the offering ceremony.
After an hour flight from Bangkok, we arrived at Nan Airport early in the afternoon, boarded the van and headed off to another district. Asphaltic winding road led us through hundreds of curve to a mountain resort later that afternoon. Realizing that we were a little late, we decided to have our dinner at the resort, in an open-sided restaurant, overlooking the Mang River.

We had just finished dinner and went to the temple to be offered another meal, so none of us really want any form of food at all. However, it is the Thai custom to entertain guests at best they can. Especially, when there was a large meritorious event like that, the whole village rose up to occasion. Upcountry people would feel bad if you don’t accept their hospitality. The abbot asked villagers to bring us ordinary rice instead of glutinous rice normally consumed in the north. This is the root of Thai hospitality – caring and sharing. So, we were obliged to take a few bites. The food tasted good though. But we were too full to enjoy it.


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