Thursby House, Blue Spring State Park, Orange City, Florida

imageI guess the natives might not have been to pleased with the site selection of the house. You can read more about paranormal activities at Blue Springs. All in all if you are near Orlando and want a break from the big amusement  parks this might be a great  alternative.

Forest Buddhism,A Heart Released, Ajahn Mun

When I first read A Heart released, many years ago, I had mot read the background and information, like that below, and was nearly totally flummoxed. After years in Northeast Thailand with Ajahn Mun’s Dhamma Family,at the places he meditated,I try  to treat myself with a bit more kindness and am a bit less uncomfortable, and am less apt to make myself uncomfortable. Thanks to Ajahn Mun, and Chah, and Maha Bua and many more I find it just that little bit less gross in so many areas.
Anyhow never mind Thannissaro’s  Introduction, will tell you much about Mun Bhikkhu and his ways and simply let your Heart be Released.


46th Special Forces Camp, Nam Phung, Sakon Nakhon,Thailand

This is a reprint of this post, but see where the US Special Forces were in Sakon Nakhon, Thailand. Larry and I had been communicating with Joe, a  Vietnam era veteran who was moving to Thailand for some time. Joe finally arrived in Thailand and got up to Sakon Nakhon, looking to visit the old camp. I knew right where it was having visited it before so off we went. On the North side of the reservoir is the old airstrip and the 2 marker to the south east shows the location of the camp, now utilized by the Thais and the airstrip.
With the help of Khun Prasit, long time friend and mentor we finally got access to the camp and a guide of some rank. We did get to the site of the old runway which was pretty much overgrown. Our guide also took us to the site of what he called the old clinic, which Joe pointed out was not the old clinic….

The Origin of Loi Krathong in Isaan, Thailand

krathongLoi Krathong occurs on November 14 2016. I first printed this, tongue in cheek stories more than few years ago, and without further ado…
More than 1,500 years ago Nagas ruled the waterways of the earth. From the white nagas of the Alps to the black nagas of the Nile. Over the years the slaughter of the Nagas for their skin, known throughout the world as Naugahyde, decimated their numbers.
But way back then 3 fierce Nagas, namely  Huu-aiy, Duu-aiy and Luu-aiy ruled a region along the Mekhong River that would become known as Isaan. The were firce and terrible. They would rape the men and sell the women of villages into slavery. They were short and darker than the other Nagas in the area. The Nagas from other parts of the River would call them lazy and stupid, which only tended to make Huu-aiy, Duu-aiy and Luu-aiy more irritable….

From Tom’s Desk, Mourning the King of Thailand, and Isaan Update

kingThe Thai people are finding many ways to mourn the loss of the man who was their king for 70 years. When first visiting a number of the King’s and Queen’s Projects here in Northeast Thailand, Isaan I was amazed that so few people were aware of the existance and location of these sites. When I first stopped in Sawang Daen Din in Sakon Nakhon searching for the project in Kut Na Kham I had the name of the place and project name in Thai. Okay it is actually in Charoen Sin District adjacent to Sawang Daen Din, but a project of this size I thought District Officers or school teacher might have some knoewledge.
Same with the Phu Phan Royal Development Study Center, a few kilometers outside Sakon Nakhon town. Few people have ever heard about it and even fewer have visited.

Ajahn Mun Phuridatta Thera, มั่น ภูริทตฺโต, January 20, 1870 to November 11, 1949

First posted thisd a few years ago. I’m reposting as the anniversary of Ajahn Mun’s death is coming up on 11 November. There is no way I could attempt to explain the impact of Ajahn Mun and the Bhikkhus of his lineage have had on me over the past, more than 30 years. From Ajahn Sumadho and the Bhikkhu Sangha in England, Bhante Gunaratana and Rahula in West Virginia and for nearly 20 years in Thailand.
You can download to read his few writing  HERE His Biography HERE as well as “Patipada Venerable Ācariya Mun’s Path of Practice” “In this book, Ajaan Mahā Boowa describes in detail the lifestyle and training practices of Ajaan Mun and his disciples. It is a way of life rooted in the Buddhist ideal of the wandering monk who, having renounced the world and gone forth from the household, dresses in robes made from discarded cloth, depends on alms for a living and takes the forest as his dwelling place. The emphasis is on an austere meditative lifestyle that is directed toward uprooting every aspect of greed, hatred, and delusion from the heart.”

Buddhism, Uncommon Wisdom, life and teachings of Ajaan Pannavaddho, Preface

imageIt is important that Venerable Paññāvaḍḍho’s biography is being
written and published due to the efforts of Tan Ajaan Dick who
has been close to this most venerable and reclusive monk. Ajaan
Paññāvaḍḍho spent most of his monastic life at Wat Pa Baan Taad,
a remote forest monastery in Udon Thani, North-East Thailand.
He trained and practiced under the guidance and support of one of
Thailand’s most respected bhikkhus, Tan Ajaan Mahā Boowa—now
generally best known in Thailand as “Luang Dtaa Mahā Boowa.”…..

Buddhists recognize four different kinds of clinging or attachment

king, and this is a Buddhist teaching not being offered as a reflection in Thailand today. The great majority of Thai people identify themselves as “Buddhist” and as such one might think they study and try to practice the teaching of the Buddha. Sadly that seems not to be the case. The King of Thailand, Rama IX died recently after 70 years on the throne, the only King most Thais have ever known. In my opinion the teachings of the King such as moderation and self sufficiency and others are wise and useful lessons and practices for people. These teachings of the king will be alive as long as people choose to keep them alive, but an attachment to anything or anybody impermanent is sure to lead to suffering.
Before I share some of the teaching on attachment that I have found useful here are a couple things I have learned in my attempts to practice Buddhism.
The three characteristics of existence; Anicca,Dukkha, Anatta. Now,for me impermanence and suffering are easy peasy. I see it every moment of every day. But, not self there’s the bugger a lot of work to do here. And the Brahma Vihara; Love or Loving-kindness (metta) Compassion (karuna)Sympathetic Joy (mudita)Equanimity (upekkha). The first 3 over time I have managed to incorporate into my practice in some ways at some levels, but the last is the toughy. And for me the lack of equanimity is tied to attachments…
Enough from me, and there are many more examples from the Buddha’s teaching but I leave those reflections for the Buddhist leaders of Thailand to offer the people

Highway 22 project. A new EWEC, East West Economic Corridor?

panicI read today that Thailand is goung to the ADB, Asia Developement Bank for a loan for the second phase of the Highways Department’s four-lane main-road construction project on Highway 22. I was somewhat amazed to read that Nattaporn Jatusripitak, an adviser to Commerce Minister Apiradi Tantraporn, said the planned routes extended the project from Udon Thani-Sakon Nakhon, and Sakon Nakhon-Nakhon Phanom to Roi Et-Yasothon.
I have drivdn highway 22 many tmes from Udon Thani-Sakon Nakhon, and Sakon Nakhon-Nakhon Phanom, but in fact it does not go through Nakhon Phanom to Roi Et-Yasothon.
Highwat 23  starts est to east at Highway 2 south of Khon Kaen to RoiEt and Yasothon and carries on to Ubon Ratchatani.
When I first read the article the first thought thsat came to mind was the joint effort by the Tourism Authority of Thailand and the State Railroad promoting a tourism project which was train excursions from Khon Kaen to RoiEt.
There is and was no train tracks from Khon Kaen to RoiEt.

When I tried to contact TAT in Bangkok I was told to contact TAT in Khon Kaen and there I was told to contact Bangkok. I do not know how much money was spent on this project, but I feel certain it was substantial.
Now more than half of 22 is already 4 lane, or dual carriageway. Sadly the final 30 or so into Udon town are impeded by vehicles using the shoulder lane for parking and the U-turn access between directions is dangerous and the cause of a number of accidents that I have witnessed.
From what I have noticed Phase 1 must have started about 10 years ago. How much it cost and what was it scheduled to include I have no idea. What specifically is Phase 2 supposed to complete and when? Why does Thailand need an ADB loan  for a relatively low cost project? Has or will highway 23 be redesignated   highway 22? Why isn’t the continuation of ther road from yasothon to Ubon included?
My big question is is what happened to the EWEC and why is it not being completed prior to the project?
Is this just another government fiddle?
In other than a fictional land journalists migh be questioning this announcement?
Over the years I have seen projects identified, the costs and the purpose and rarely have i seen 1 completed, or if completed of a poor standard.
My point in this post is simply: Where does all the money go?
Is anyone ever held responsible for projects tha are not completed, or shoddily completed?

And most of all the people who suffer from inadequet roads and services.

The Vinaya, The 227 Rules for a Bhikkhu and Buddhism in Thailand

People ask why I use a picture of a monk at an ATM machine in some of my posts about Buddhism in Thailand. Some people tell me that it is alright for monks to have money in Thailand. And many have told me it is not polite to post it.
It seems that there is a lot of confusion about Buddhism, superstition and the monastic code in Thailand. I have always found a number of references useful “The Buddhist Monk’s Discipline Some Points Explained for Laypeople by Bhikkhu Khantipalo” and in particular the discussion about money.”For Laypeople: A lay-person should never offer money directly to a bhikkhu… even if it is placed inside an envelope or together with other requisites. They should either deposit the money with the monastery steward, put it in a donation-box….