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Is Bangkok a good place for a new Buddhist?


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Hi all.

I've spent some time studying Buddhism. I've recently identified myself as being a Buddhist. I am still very much a lay person attached to the bustle of life. I'd love to stay someplace and learn the language and also meet other Buddhists and talk over ideas and practice meditation.

How easy is it to meet English speaking Buddhists in Bangkok? 

If anyone has a better suggestion than Bangkok or even Thailand I am open to all ideas.

 

Early mornings, parks, language study, coffee shops, discussions on dharma and nature (lumpini and weekends away would be enough) is the type of life I'd love to experience.

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Start with the internet to further your knowledge of your new religious affiliation.

 

Visit the literally 10s of thousands of Buddhist temples conducting religious rituals to receive inspiration and further your knowledge...

 

BTW...the one true religion is the one that you practice...lives in your heart...gives you peace of mind, love for your fellow man and is not selfish...charitable...

 

Good luck!

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1 hour ago, stouricks said:

I would have thought that Bangkok, or even Thailand in general are not places to get involved in TRUE Buddhism.

To the contrary. After practicing on and off for 20 years solely in the US I decided to visit the 'fountain' for myself and was instantly confronted by the absurdities that is Thailand and experience the stark contrast to my 'American' and 'being Buddhist' belief system.  I think it's been the best thing for my practice.

 

I no longer know what to believe. I can only watch.

It's perfect.

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3 hours ago, orchis said:

these are two good leads, the first is a group (sangha), the second is a place with many activities.

https://www.littlebang.org
http://www.bia.or.th/en/

Sidjameson, here are 2 good suggestions.  The first, Little Bangkok Sangha is run by Phra Pandit, a British monk.  If he can't help you, not sure what your looking for.  He's easy to find and easy to talk to.  I've met him several times.  The other place is a temple way South of Bangkok, a good place to go for retreats.  Good luck. 

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27 minutes ago, khaowong1 said:

Sidjameson, here are 2 good suggestions.  The first, Little Bangkok Sangha is run by Phra Pandit, a British monk.  If he can't help you, not sure what your looking for.  He's easy to find and easy to talk to.  I've met him several times.  The other place is a temple way South of Bangkok, a good place to go for retreats.  Good luck. 

I would like to clarify a few things:

Both are in Bangkok.
Little Bang in ordinary times meets at Rojana Dhamma Centre; Pra Pandit has moved on, to Singapore.
BIA (Wat Suan Mokh Bangkok) is Budhadasa's archive and outpost in Bangkok, at Suan Rot Fai near Chatuchak. Normally also many activities.
Other centers are World Federation of Buddhism, Sukhumvit 24, and Baan Aree (BTS Ari), only scheduled activities.

The temple in the South is Wat Suan Mokh, but I heard the retreat content changed a lot there. (see trip advisor).
Good retreats I think are Goenka (https://www.dhamma.org/en/maps#TH), 8 centers, tend to fill up quickly.

Edited by orchis
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5 hours ago, tribalfusion001 said:

Go on Tinder or Thai friendly and get a Thai girl to take you to a buddhist temple, you then will realise it's rubbish the same as every other religion.

I'm open to something better: what of the 4 noble truths and the eight fold path are rubbish?

What statement about life and how to live it have you found to be better?

 

Thanks for the replies everyone.

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11 minutes ago, sidjameson said:

I'm open to something better: what of the 4 noble truths and the eight fold path are rubbish?

What statement about life and how to live it have you found to be better?

 

Thanks for the replies everyone.

I don't have any paths or truths, I meet girls, drink beer, watch football and take photos of buddhist temples. I find the temples in SE Asia fascinating, but I'm not really interested in the religion.

 

I have been to 100s of temples in Thailand and been with girls paying merit, they tried to explain it to me, but tbh it didn't make any sense. I even had a monk spit holy water on me when I got engaged to my ex wife, her English was poor and couldn't explain it to me either.

 

Like I said you need to go to a temple with a local not a foreigner. The foreigners have these hippy chic ideas on what buddhism is and then talk rubbish in bars how enlightening it is.

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28 minutes ago, sidjameson said:

I'm open to something better: what of the 4 noble truths and the eight fold path are rubbish?

What statement about life and how to live it have you found to be better?

 

Thanks for the replies everyone.

I can't help you about finding places in BKK.  I just thought you might like some of the talks given by Ajahn Jayasaro.  He has a number of Youtube videos.  Such as: 

 

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I went with one girl to visit a sort of monk come spiritualist in Bang Bon last December, took 2 hours to get there from Ratchada. It was above someones house, he gave her some readings, did some chanting and had 100s of buddhas and dolls around the room. All of this because she couldn't decide whether to work in Bangkok or Phuket, cost her 1000 baht and the taxi there from the MRT, I was generous and paid for the taxi back to the MRT station.

 

Another girl told me this was black magic buddhism and she would put on spell on me, well I'm still here and she is over there 555. If someone can tell me what that was all about I would like to know.

Edited by tribalfusion001
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2 hours ago, tribalfusion001 said:

I went with one girl to visit a sort of monk come spiritualist in Bang Bon last December

...and you didn't ask him for a winning lottery number? Oh well.

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11 hours ago, sidjameson said:

I am still very much a lay person attached to the bustle of life. I'd love to stay someplace and learn the language and also meet other Buddhists and talk over ideas and practice meditation.

...

Early mornings, parks, language study, coffee shops, discussions on dharma and nature (lumpini and weekends away would be enough) is the type of life I'd love to experience.

I'm not sure where you'd find this experience, except by joining a Sangha in the west.

Most of what I've run into in Thailand is the 'retreat experience', or living in temples as a novice among the monks, doing daily meditation and listening to Dharma talks.

 

Most Thais get their 'Buddhist education' while in school. 

Foreigners learning Pali and Sanskrit aren't the normal fair here, except maybe learning the chanting by rote, unless you're a scholar (or long-term dedicated monk).

 

Any one else have a different experience?

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30 minutes ago, RichCor said:

...and you didn't ask him for a winning lottery number? Oh well.

I was sitting at the back and wondering what the <deleted> was going on. I do like weird trips like this and see something different.

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12 hours ago, sidjameson said:

I am still very much a lay person attached to the bustle of life.

It will be difficult to detach yourself in Bangkok. 

You might find more suitable temples in Kanchanaburi or Ayutthaya 

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11 hours ago, orchis said:

I would like to clarify a few things:

Both are in Bangkok.
Little Bang in ordinary times meets at Rojana Dhamma Centre; Pra Pandit has moved on, to Singapore.
BIA (Wat Suan Mokh Bangkok) is Budhadasa's archive and outpost in Bangkok, at Suan Rot Fai near Chatuchak. Normally also many activities.
Other centers are World Federation of Buddhism, Sukhumvit 24, and Baan Aree (BTS Ari), only scheduled activities.

The temple in the South is Wat Suan Mokh, but I heard the retreat content changed a lot there. (see trip advisor).
Good retreats I think are Goenka (https://www.dhamma.org/en/maps#TH), 8 centers, tend to fill up quickly.

Wow, I didn't know Phra Pandit moved to Singapore.  Visa problems would be my guess. 

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12 hours ago, RichCor said:

To the contrary. After practicing on and off for 20 years solely in the US I decided to visit the 'fountain' for myself and was instantly confronted by the absurdities that is Thailand and experience the stark contrast to my 'American' and 'being Buddhist' belief system.  I think it's been the best thing for my practice.

 

I no longer know what to believe. I can only watch.

It's perfect.

After practisicing for 20 years I would hope you got it right by now.    PML   LOL

 

And the OP is asking is it good for a NEW Buddhist, not one who has tried it on & off for 20 years.

What's a NEW one as opposed to and OLD one please?

Edited by stouricks
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@sidjameson before you commit to anything in Thailand, I suggest you read this book,  'Zenwise' by Ajahn Sumano Bhikkhu, an American born Buddhist monk and Nash Siamwalla, a Thai mindfullness teacher and author. It's available from the Asia Book Store. https://www.asiabooks.com/zenwise-154832.html

 

Read it and draw your own conclusions about studying Buddhism in Thailand. It certainly opened my eyes!

Edited by Moonlover
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7 hours ago, Moonlover said:

@sidjameson before you commit to anything in Thailand, I suggest you read this book,  'Zenwise' by Ajahn Sumano Bhikkhu, an American born Buddhist monk and Nash Siamwalla, a Thai mindfullness teacher and author. It's available from the Asia Book Store. https://www.asiabooks.com/zenwise-154832.html

 

Read it and draw your own conclusions about studying Buddhism in Thailand. It certainly opened my eyes!

Is Ajahn Sumano still alive?  I used to visit with him at his small place up near Pak Chong.  Stayed with him a couple of times.  A really great human being.  I heard several years ago that he was very sick. 

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33 minutes ago, khaowong1 said:

Is Ajahn Sumano still alive?  I used to visit with him at his small place up near Pak Chong.  Stayed with him a couple of times.  A really great human being.  I heard several years ago that he was very sick. 

Well he's pushing 80 but now his death isn't recorded on his web site so I guess he's still around. I've never met him, but I do like his books despite my being none religious. He cuts through the dogma. Go visit http://next-life.com

 

Edited by Moonlover
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On 6/4/2020 at 6:09 PM, stouricks said:

I would have thought that Bangkok, or even Thailand in general are not places to get involved in TRUE Buddhism.

The only wat I have seen that is true to the spirit of Budhism is outside Ubon, famous for catering for foreign monks, forget the name founded by Pra Charn? No stray cats and dogs, no silly animal statues, no fortune telling or amulets, no vendors and spotlessly clean with no vanity building constanly in progress. That is the sort of place you want

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