But there are also many long-term monks with 10, 20, 40 — even 60 — years spent in the robes and their behavior tends to be quite different. What were your main concerns when you were doing this? In this first interview, I talk to Peter about his time as a monk in Thailand. Alto he does not tell us much about his personal reasons to become a monk. At forty-five, successful businessman Peter Robinson gave up his comfortable life in London to ordain as a Buddhist monk in Bangkok. Their advancement up the monastic ladder, and the gaining of monastic titles, may be based on what they have done or are seen to have done.
For example, sexual relations, drug use and other inappropriate behaviour. A travel app I use and recommend! Given that both are so traditionally alien to the West, Phra Peter makes them distinctly more comprehensible by charting his own path through his understanding of the teachings of the Buddha and coming to terms with living within the very different precepts of Thai monk life. But the new path he had chosen was not always as easy or as straightforward as he hoped it would be. To really get the most out of it, any Westerner wanting to become a monk should ordain at a monastery with a senior English-speaking monk; someone who can really explain not only the rules but also the why of being a monk. I sometimes see monks on buses or in taxis. I was originally hoping for a bit of insight on how it was to be living in Thailand as he was a monk, but it was more of how he responded to his religious experience as he lived through the experience and what he felf as he.
I read this book while traveling in Thailand, and it brought me an understanding of the culture that I otherwise would have missed. Therefore the first two hundred pages of his book were just another interesting read where I was not personally involved. With gentle humour and compassion Phra Peter Pannapadipo writes of his transition from agnostic Westerner to Buddhist monk and the rewards and pitfalls for the Westerner who chooses to follow this path. An English Monk in Thailand describes the process, and how he began to be torn between his meditation and study and a desire to teach and to help students. When all else fails, Buddhism becomes their last resort: providing them with physical shelter and spiritual refuge.
Before you became a monk in Thailand, how much were you prepared for the experience? Actually I was relieved to read that Peter started a charity organization to help Thai students — — After being a monk for ten years the success of this organization even leads to Peter disrobing, cease being a monk. As we walked people smiled at me. I study and practice everyday with great respect, Meditation,The Four Noble Truths and The Noble Eightfold path. That's something I think I can pass on. But, O Kālāmas, when you know for yourself that certain things are unwholesome, and wrong, and bad, then give them up.
Author explains the Buddhism and what does it mean to be a monk in the Thailand. Monks have no real expenses. Each individual story, heartrending as it may be, subtly shows what Phra Peter sees and hopes to show to others: the 'human face' of Thai Buddhism. On his return to England he became determined to find out more, and this journey of discovery led to him to his ordination as a Buddhist monk five years later. I explained that I already had more than enough and suggested she take her food to the nearby orphanage. Doubts about his personal motives, doubts about the Thai way of Buddhism, doubts about how far his experience and experiments with meditation should go.
But it was after the ceremony took place that the real metamorphosis occurred. So a good read, especially the second half, about an interesting decade as monk. Otherwise, it can be a total waste of time. Is there any significance in this? Peter spent ten years as a monk before finally disrobing in order to spend more time with his student charity,. I have since met Westerners who have decided to ordain and who have come straight to Thailand, without any real preparation at all. I loved the simple language and the naturalness of the story, passing from clarifying the spontaneity of his step, the rituals and protocols to be followed to be ordained, the many gaffes he made and the stories of monastic life. Originally he planned to do this in England but discovered he could only ordain in Bangkok — and so began his life in Thailand, despite being unable to speak a word of Thai and a fair amount of hostility from his fellow Thai monks who became jealous of the celebrity he was accorded as a farang monk.
Some monks may wear a deep red robe. It is actually quite impolite in Thai society and especially in Thai monk society, for a junior to have his head higher than that of his senior, but there was little I could do about that except to walk a few paces behind him. It's been a while since I read this but I still remember enjoying it after chancing upon it at the old Bangkok airport. Overall, however, this book is a bit slow and had it not been for the remarkable insights that it provided as In this memoir describing experiences of a London business who becomes a Buddhist monk living in Thailand, there are vivid descriptions of aspects of Thai culture. These days many foreigners seem to want to become monks for a short period of time. At the relatively late age of forty, Peter went on a package holiday to Thailand and there, unexpectedly, became fascinated by the feeling of tranquil purpose he found in even the most humble working monasteries. It is not the robe which makes.
You have lived in temples in both towns and rural countryside. Peter now has three books published about Buddhism. It tells the story of a western man who ordains as a Theravadan Buddhist monk in Thailand. You once said that you were expected to act more like a monk than a Thai person. In Thailand there are two Buddhist sects. Little Angels is his second book, about the lives of these young monks nearly 100,000 of them in Thailand, across 30,000 monasteries, most aged between 15 and 20. Reading this book, I found out that not all monks in Thailand are alike: some take orders only for the duration of the rainy season, the Pansa, and some only for a few months.
At his ordination he was given the chaya or religious name of Phra Peter Pannapadipo - light, or lamp, of wisdom. Author gives a short introduction to Buddhism and describes the way Thai monks live their life. I recommend this book if you're interested in Buddhism, Thailand, or possibly ordaining as a monk yourself. Already during my first trip to Asia I took part in a brief seminar on Buddhist meditation at Wat Mahathat in Bangkok and I was conquered. As a monk, I felt I should go where I was most needed, or where I could do the most good. He paints a vivid and convincing picture of his experiences as a monk; something that not too many westerners have been through, at least compared to the millions of Asians that must have ordained over the last 25 centuries. The good news for people living in England is that it has recently been published there.