chaowat

End of vassa

 

All around me beauty and thriving. Bindu the dog is pregnant and probably will give birth to plenty puppies, as big as her belly is.

 

The beauty of this place is sometimes overwhelming. The shades of green of the forest and the clear blue sky, the scent of the plants, the dogs and chicken. It is so wholesome, lovely.

But still, even in the smallest and shabbiest of all monasteies of this world such as this one here, there are politics going on in the village among the villagers around the question who would stay welcomed and who would go. There is this monk coming, a drunkard and false player, who was staying here once but has been kicked out because he is a drunkard. People get him back here when there is a ceremony and they want their northern Thai style blessing chanting. He was here for the end of the rainy season ceremony and I heard him making politics with the main upasaka, the one who leads the lay peoples chanting. He likes me. The monk was talking about how the westerners should go and anyways in Thailand are no Bhikkhunis and this should be a place for Mae Chiis and the man was talking about the four fold Sangha, Bhikkhu, Bhikkhuni etc. and that westerners are not too bad after all. Both agreed on having patience is best. I heard about 50 times the word ‘cha-o-wat’ which means abbot, 20 times ‘quam oton’, patience, several times Wat Rampoeng. I was doing flowers while they were talking and I was wondering why they talk like this in my presence. Then the old man said ‘but she must learn Thai’. I asked in Thai, who, who must learn Thai? That was the end of their conversation.

 

I went out and met AD. and I told him what they were saying. He made gestures as if saying: ‘I couldn’t care less.’ Next morning he said he would go to Bangkok the very same day. I asked for the pavarana during lunch and off he went. That was right after our end of the rainy season ceremony.

 

I had to stay with him another one and a half days but hardly ever met him. Unfortunately I met him, when he was peeing out of the vihara window. Although I was standing in full sight, when he opened the window to release his bladder while not having to leave the cosy resting place, he didn’t take notice of my presence, lifted his robes and – like a boy- tried to make a nice fountain. Most probably he was too sleep-drunken to see me and I went out of sight. It took him quite a while to finish. I was happy that short after the event a good heavy rain came down to wash the concrete place around the vihara clean.

 

In the evening our two uposata guest Om and Surin, 2 young men who are very devoted Buddhists came and our monk pretended to sleep and grunted he wouldn’t want us chanting now, nor in the morning. The young men accepted the no chanting in the evening but in the morning at five the rang the bell and we met in the vihara, where the monk and the young men had been sleeping. When I stepped in the vihara two grinning boys greeted me in unison with: ‘good morning Bhikkhuni.’ The monk, looking a bit like having a hang over, shuffeld his blankets around, not knowing whether to put them aside or to creep deeper under them. The guys had fun seeing the monk who then invited me to lead the chanting. He turned around deep under his blankets but our jolly, wholehearted and louder then normal chanting chased him out of bed quickly.

 

A little turn back in time, after I heard the old man and the monk talking in the vihara and had left , just the day before the last told event, I came back in after a while and sat down with the two in all innocence. The old man, ui Nan, then told the monk that he doesn’t need to come for the uposata even when Ajahn is not here, because I know the chanting, can give precepts and the blessing. The monk checked me, I said ‘yes’ because I really can. So the monk invited me, a bit pushed by ui Nan, to lead the blessing and to give the precepts, while the monk would recite a northern Thai text in the afternoon, when some of the villagers would come to hear a sermon. Not many people came, though but still, that was another little revolution.

 

 

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