During the vassa, when A. D. was gone, I had to perform the ceremony of the uposatha day. I am a bit shy about doing it and have a book with the chants with me. Although I rarely really need to look into the book because I know giving precepts and the blessings I feel safer with the book when I have to do the ceremony alone.
Not many people had come, it was only a quater moon ceremony. That morning I had given the 5 precepts without piking into the book and Ui Naan and another regular monastery visitor who do know that I feel insecure to hold the ceremony by myself, gave thumbs up for the precepts.
Funny that I feel at unease , I was actress and should be doing these ceremonies easily. When living in Europe, I would have given a darn and just have done it. It is monks, mens domain? Who cares? Possibly I would have done it all wrong but wholehearted and with charm. Now after being a nun and living since years in male dominated monasteries, I start to feel shy like a girl when entering a mens domain. That feels wrong.
Anyway. That the two lay men had given thumbs up was a very nice gesture.
Then, suddenly just when I wanted to start to chant the parittas, a woman came in. She is the tallest person in the village and quite a character. She is a very tender and softhearted person, too soft for this world. So she tries to make it up with being overly rough at other times. Once I saw her watching dogs and chickens at feeding time and the chickens chased the little puppy dogs away and stole their food. She almost cried. She is also the same person who said the devas will not protect the village when I chant, also she was the one who came and took away the eight puppies that her dog had given birth in my kuti (remember the post? The dog ripped the mosquito screens of the kuti to get inside while I was away.) (I can’t say it was she who killed 7 of the eight puppies, nor that she broke the leg and tail of the surviving one, nor that she killed the mother dog, nor that she throw boiling water over two dogs. I was not present when those things happened.) She came in with 3 trays full of food to offer. One for all devas and two for departed relatives. Luckily I had the book where I had written down the northern Thai language blessing chant that is given in such an occasion of offering. Luckily the departed ones had simple names so that I could even read them myself. Luckily I got through the chant without stuttering. As if the devas came to support, when we looked each other in the eyes after the chant in some seconds of understanding and forgiving silence, the cold wind stopped to blow, the sun came out and the vihara was full of delight.
The rest of the ceremony went well.