FIFA WORLD CUP 2018 Kata Rocks
Login | Create Account Poll Currency Weather Facebook Youtube Search

All About Buddhism: Buddhism to go

You know ladies and gentlemen, it’s awful hard to say goodbye. Every year, there are about 30 million would-be Marco Polo’s who journey through this Buddhist kingdom in search of something magical, something mystical, something life-altering or just something new.

Jason Jellison

Saturday 17 February 2018, 02:00PM


Invariably, newcomers to Thailand quickly discover Thai Buddhism; but there is a universal problem for tourists in our kingdom: They have to go home and it’s really hard to keep the fledgling Buddha alive in you from a distance.

But, recently, a thought crossed my mind… what if, using only four simple keys, I could give you enough knowledge so that you could keep practicing what you’ve learned until you can come back?

I like to think of it as “Buddhism To Go”.

Actually, you don’t need a Thai temple or fancy worship space to be a Buddhist. If you want to continue to follow the Buddha within you, you must return home with just one really important thing: Mercy.

Buddhism is about having a sense of empathy for all things that live. But, you cannot develop a heightened sense of empathy without mercy. Mercy leads to empathy for all living things and empathy leads to Buddhism. Without a sense of heightened empathy, your life will always be unhappy. As for the rest of Buddhism, it’s all just gravy.

Sure, our temples are spectacular. Yes, our monks are magnanimous. Indeed, our chanting and ceremonies stand out as something truly majestic in today’s sterile digital world.

But, little of that is what makes you a better person. Little of that is what makes your life improve. What makes your life improve is intentionally dedicating every day of your life to constructing an enhanced sense of sympathy for everyone and everything that exists – even the people you dislike.

Mercy is the first key of Thai Buddhism and you need to tuck it away in your heart before you get on that flight back home.

“A man is only as good as his handshake.” If you are a dishonest person, if you cheat others out of what is rightfully due, then your life will still fail to improve. If you make a promise, you need to keep it. If you say something, it needs to be true. This is the second key of Buddhism To Go: Honesty.

QSI International School Phuket

Yet, you must be honest not only in what you say, but you must also be honest in how you view yourself. You are a good enough person to be a Thai Buddhist, but not if you’re into blaming other people. Blaming others is not only the mark of a bad person, but it is also the hallmark of a bad Buddhist.

Getting honest with yourself is all about being able to say, “You know what, I am a good person, I am good enough… but I still could improve on how I treat my wife.” Getting honest with yourself is about realising that bad luck only stops when you stop doing bad things.

This is the third key: Wisdom. A wise person knows that there is simply no substitute for wise choices. The teachings of Buddha are really about improving your behaviour. They are not about fortune-telling or hocus-pocus. If we want our lives to improve, then we must improve our behaviour.

Finally, the last key is: Desire. Too often, our wants rule us, rather than us ruling what we want. Remember, the human mind is a lot like a brand-new puppy. Without a leash, it runs wherever it wants.

So, if you just take these four keys home from your holiday: mercy, honesty, wisdom, and controlling desire, then you can be just as much of a Thai Buddhist as most of us here in Thailand.

These are the keys that will unlock the door of your heart. Now, you just need to open it and step out into a beautiful rainbow that’s been waiting just for you… and you might be surprised to find out that this beautiful rainbow was really waiting for you to come home, all along.

 

All About Buddhism is a monthly column in The Phuket News where I take readers on my exotic journey into Thai Buddhism and debunk a number of myths about Buddhism. If you have any specific queries, or ideas for articles, please let us know. Email editor1@classactmedia.co.th and we will do our best to accommodate your interests.

 

 

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

Comments Here:
Comments Left:
# Characters
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
Security:

Kurt | 20 February 2018 - 13:59:24

Four keys for the holiday foreigners?
Where in this society can I experience and feel the examples?

archbrow | 19 February 2018 - 23:37:18

This guy sounds like another “enlightened” farang beg-packer cum English teacher. Absolutely ridiculous. 

“When a young man first conceives the notion that the whole world forms one great fact, with all its parts moving abreast, as it were, and interlocked, he feels as if he were enjoying a great insight, and looks superciliously on all who still fall short of this sublime conception”.-...

 

Phuket community
Phuket villa property market strong in mid-range, high-end takes a hit

Please don't become like your main competitor, just a mouth-piece for the property industry. Thi...(Read More)


French expat, 78, found safe in Phuket after dinghy gets lost in storm

Claude,I knew we all get careless when getting older and and have done it so many time over and over...(Read More)


No special ‘temporary’ driver’s licences for tourists

DK, it still doesn't make your comment correct, lao khao dulls the mind, and the ability to thin...(Read More)


Phuket jet-ski, parasail operators threatened for operating in strong waves

Clever Phuket Marine office. Just warning after the weather ordeal is almost over, not BEFORE on 14...(Read More)


US withdraws from ‘cesspool’ UN rights body

Congratulations on the US action. Looking forward to Australia doing the same. I was bullied throug...(Read More)


Surapong gets two years for issuing Thaksin’s passport

It is funny to read all this shuffling. In a few years time, when democracy restored, Junta peopl...(Read More)


Phuket villa property market strong in mid-range, high-end takes a hit

Again Knight Frank is posting fake news. Anybody that is following agents sites can see the drop dow...(Read More)


Phuket condo market climbs after big hit

Nice try Knight Frank, but such fake news will not blind the eyes of people. For last 2 years you ca...(Read More)


3,000 people arrested for gambling on World Cup

What a nonsense. World wide there is legal football bidding/gambling . What is the fascination of th...(Read More)