In case you are not aware, Luangta's daily morning meals and the desana that he gives after that is published live on a special Thai channel. I had the chance to watch it when I am in Thailand.
On 1 November 08, the Thailand Princess Chulabhorn Walailak
, came to visit Luangta at Wat Baan Taad. She sat and waited for Luangta to take his morning meals. After the morning meal, Luangta gave a desana and then blessing. After blessing, the Princess presented offerings to Luangta, spoke for a while, with Luangta giving some guidance. After that, the Princess took leave and left- it was raining quite heavily that morning. The Princess has faith in Luangta and do come and visit Luangta on several occassions.
There are also some visitors from Sri Lanka. They were dressed in white- and sat around the front roll. Their demeanour were inspirational- how they paid respect (anjali) to Luangta- especially the elderly ladies. One can't help but feel glad that Luangta's teachings had reached and touched the hearts of many all over the world, thanks to translations of his teachings in English by the English speaking bhikkhus residing there. Of course, they were probably not aware that they actually had appeared on national television :)
For those who are not aware, every morning after his meals and desana, Luangta will give blessings. And after the blessings, the dogs residing in the monastery (I think about 7 or 8 of them) will be released to the area where Luangta is sitting. Frequent visitors are well aware of that but not the Sri Lanka visitors. So, as the first dog was released and came barging through the area that Luangta is sitting, one Sri Lanka man got very concerned- he must have thought that the dog was going to disturb Luangta and had tried to shoo away the dog. The camera man actually cheekily direct the camera at the man.
But after a while, these visitors got the idea and even smiled in amusement at the dogs' antics.
In the morning desana hall, at any given time, you will be able to find many foreigners who came to the temple and observe 8 precepts. If there are Asians (like from Malaysia, Indonesia or Singapore), you will almost could not tell any difference between them and the local native. But the giveaway is when Luangta tells a joke and everyone laugh except them because they do not understand Thai. Still, it is an inspiration to go and practice there. The kutis may not have electricity (only the main hall has) but many people had came from all over the world into the small town of Udon Thani just to be able to see this great Master.
Luangta had indicated a few times in his morning desanas that his body had bee unwell lately. As such, if you want to see Luangta, it will be good to make the trip to see him. Previously, he goes for morning pindapat (alms round) with other monks and he had been too weak to walk (he is already 95 this year). When he previously had taken his evening walks by foot, he has to go around in a golf cart because his disciples are too worried- since he had walked a few times and suffered a fall (because his legs suddenly gave way).
For me, I had not gotten the chance to see other great disciples of Ajahn Mun- but I am glad I have been able to see Luangta. I had missed the chance to see Ajahn Pannavaddho as he had passed away in August 2004 (I only began to visit Wat Baan Taad a few months later). I would feel if one had the chance and kept finding excuses, one would suffer great regret when the teacher is no longer around. There is no use in regret.