Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Greetings again

Hi...I hope you all have been well.

I know it has been years since I have posted. So sorry as there were many things that happened in the span of these few years. However, I have not abandoned my practice, in fact, through the help of an excellent teacher I have managed to incorporate into my daily life.

In 2002, after reading the Spiritual Autobiography of Ajahn Mun that had changed my life, it took me 2 years before I was able to find my way to Wat Pa Baan Taad in Udon Thani to meet Luangta Maha Boowa who was Ajahn Mun's disciple. 

Like many who first meet the teacher and filled with awe, what happens after the worship period is over? We would then go back to the reality of our own practice ....and for some people get stuck. No doubt, when you first discover and get inspired by a great teacher...and you come all starry eye but would discover that the real practice is not as easy as it was supposed to be.

When staying in Luangta's temple in 2007, I met a lady from came from an European country.

She had wanted very much to experience the life of tudong. She got the chance to experience it through the help of a nun who have previously undergone the practice. However, by the 3rd day, she had more or less given up. Apparently, the tudong lifestyle was totally not what she had imaged- it is not walking to enjoy beautiful scenery and see animals like elephants roaming around. But in reality, you had to go light and carry limited supplies, and depend on the kindness of villagers for pindapat.

She had to walk long distance carrying her backpack. Beginning she was worried there would not be enough food and drink hence she loaded a lot of stuff in her backpack and needless to say had a tough time carrying it. The weather was in December and they were hiking around Mae Hong Son so the weather was freezing cold. The main food was based on what that were received during almsround.

Basically by the 3rd day she had more or less given up. It was a pity because had she held on longer, she would have a better understanding and insight.

Over the years, similar to what happened to the lady also happened to me. Well not literally going for tudong.

During the beginning after the 'honeymoon' aka period of awe is over, we are back into reality of the practice. And it is no fairy tale. It takes the guidance of a good teacher to be able to help us along and drag us up from the depths of hopelessness.

It also depend on us to continue to fight and to be willing to receive the help of our teacher.

Over these years, I've struggled to integrate the Dhamma in my daily lay life, to apply to work and family. I do not wish to be a hypocrite, ie someone who only could talk but not walk the talk. Fortunately with the guidance of a good teacher that I have met, I am able to continue on and ask questions when I am in doubt.

It has been quite a roller coaster journey of ups and downs. Now, I am more aware of the route that I would be taking in the future. In time to come, I shall write about it.

Take care and do not give up in the Dhamma. It is truly wonderful- during the beginning it can become a struggle and you would feel you are swimming upstream. If you have not found someone who could guide you, make the aspiration in front of the Buddha that may you find a good teacher who could point you to the true path of the Dhamma.