I’m at a local village gathering for National Children’s Day in Thailand when a bus of monks pulls up (complete with the yellow robes like in the movies). I’m brought over to where they all sit down as a little crowd of about 30 of us kneel in front of them.
Chanting and praying starts – I fold my hands when it looks like I’m supposed to and bow when I’m supposed to. I think I was very professional overall. But I was a little nervous as to what we were actually praying for because I didn’t understand the chant.
Then the monk passes in front of us and drenches us in water; from what looked like long incense sticks dipped in water. During this time I was thinking of the Beatles when they went out meditating, and wondered if I should have dressed a little more hippy instead of my Polo shirt.
Before the monk bus left one of them came up to me and said “God Bless You”. And God did, because after that we had all the ice cream we could eat and all the Heineken we could drink – ALL DAY. I understand Buddhism now, and I also understand why they spend so many hours meditating and praying. If the ice cream and beer is good – it’s worth the time invested.