Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Visiting Thai Buddhist Temples: Tips & Etiquette

The many wonderful temples of Thailand are unique and inspiring, each in their own way.

Following are some tips for getting the most out of your visit to a Thailand temple.Tourists are welcome to participate in any capacity at temples, from just observing to joining a ritual or making an offering.
Early morning is a good time to visit temples; the air is cool, monks busy themselves with morning activities, and the complexes are generally less crowded. You may even see a group of barefoot monks carrying their bowls on morning begging rounds.Thais make regular offerings to temples and monks to gain religious merit. Supporting the Sangha (monastic community) brings an ordinary person closer to Buddhist ideals and increases the likelihood of an improved situation in the next life. Many shops near temples sell saffron-colored pails filled with everyday supplies such as toothbrushes, soap, and other common necessities; Thais bring these and other gifts as offerings to Buddhist mendicants as a way of gaining good graces. Small monetary contributions (the amount is up to you) are welcome at any temple. Some post a suggested amount, which is usually less than S$2.

Ablutions at a temple involve bowing three times, placing the forehead on the ground at the foot of the Buddha, as well as lighting candles and incense and chanting.

Source : Sarced Destinations Travel Guide

No comments:

eckhart tolle