Category Archives: Buddism

Wat Pa Phu Kon, Issan, Northern Thailand

Standing proud on top of a hill in 400 acres of lush green fields and forests  surrounded by other hills  is this beautiful little known temple, unless you have a Thai connection or live in Issan many people are not aware that it even exists. It has a stunning aqua blue roof and literally sparkles in the sunlight and the blue of the roof reflect of the blue sky so there this is shimmering bright blue aura around the temple, it is sight to behold.

It is very popular with Thais and we arrived on one of the busiest of days a holy Buddha day luckily we had left early but even so the queue for the trucks to take us to the top of the hill was fairly long but we were shaded by the trees which surround this lovely temple.

You can drive to the top of the hill but on busy days like this they have trucks to ferry you upwards as the car park at the top is very small for the amount of cars there would be.

The dress code is very strict here. No sleeveless t/shirts or blouses, No shorts or skirts above the knee. Thai style skirts or trousers will be lent to you in the event your dress is unsuitable.

It is quite a new temple and very clean and bright it has spectacular views of the surrounding countryside and although very busy on this holy Buddha day has an aura of peace and calm.

Nga snakes guard the entrance to the main temple and inside is a stunning white marble reclining Buddha which is made out of 43 blocks of exquisite Italian Carrara marble each weighing 15-30 tons each block. The cost of building this  was in excess of 50 million baht and was a generous donation by an elderly Thai lady in honour of the king.This temple also houses  lots of carvings and numerous other Buddha images in gold and marble. The wall painting show a story of ten reincarnations of Buddha. It is beautiful to see.

We were met with the sight of many people holding prayer mats and walking and praying as they circled the reclining Buddha, it is lovely to see people laying bare their faith and love for Buddha it is something which always humbles me here wherever people feel the need to pray  they do…..

If you live in Issan or ever travel to here it is a beautiful temple and worth the visit.The isolation and peaceful natural environment makes this an ideal place for meditation so if you crave solitude and tranquility then this is the place for you.

I hope you enjoyed this little tour around this lovely temple.

Until next time stay safe and laugh a lot and if you want to share this post with your friends I would be honoured.

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Sala Keoku Sculpture Park. Thailand

Featuring giant sculptures is Sala Keoku sculpture park in Nong Khai close to the Laos border.

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This first picture helps you to put into perspective how high these sculptures are. See how they tower over everything.

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The park features giant concrete sculptures some 25 metres or more high they are gigantic and the park has in excess of 100 statutes I think it is made all the more amazing as there are so many and all close to one another. The sculptures were inspired by Buddhism and Hinduism  thus contain images of Buddha, Vishnu, Shiva, a goddess of multiple arms, Naga snakes and all kind of human/animal hybrids.

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Legend tells us that a young man called Luang pu bun Sulilat  fell  into a cave where he met a hermit called Keoku who became his spiritual mentor, after completing an apprenticeship and graduating he began sculpting and in 1958 built his first concrete garden in Laos. This park is called Buddha Park and is near the town of Vietienne in Laos.

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When the communists came to power Sulilat was very afraid that his unorthodox views would not be understood and he escaped over the border into Thailand. He was very popular locally and in 1978 he started on the construction of Sala Keoku aided by donations of building materials from the  local areas. The park actually took 20 years to complete and became something of  a religious headquarters. It is not a Wat ( temple) but many people come here to pray.

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After a bad fall from one of hs sculptures Sulilat died from his injuries. His body is buried in the main building which has many pictures of Sulilat throughout his life and is almost as strange as the sculptures he crafted it is also claimed by his faithful followers  that his hair still grows.

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If you get opportunity to visit this lovely quirky park then it will not disappoint and afterwards you can go down to the banks of the Mekong and either watch a sunset like this one..

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Or wander through the market which sells many lovely goods from neighbouring Laos and Cambodia and the prices are very reasonable and the Laos whiskey is very nice. Just saying.

Thank you for reading this and please feel free to share or reblog.

Until next time stay safe and laugh a lot .

Asalha Buddha Day.

This is one of the most important Buddha days of the year when traditionally young boys enter the monkhood and the candle ceremony is performed around Thailand.It is also the start of lent when the monks stay at their temple and don’t travel.

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A lot of people go back to their home towns and villages to be with their families on this day…..Alcohol is forbidden to be sold and bars have to close in observance of this occasion.

One of the traditions is a string attached around the head or to the ear and praying and chanting which is carried out for 3 hours. This young lad obviously found it too much and he nodded off to sleep. Bless him….I won’t embarrass him further by posting the video he may never forgive me 🙂

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But it shows the young do observe the many traditions here and I find that most endearing and it is lovely to witness such faith…

Peace and love!

 

26 Week Letter Photo Challenge “R”

This has got to be easier than some  of the letters which have gone before but I do love this challenge…. have a look at Lori’s https://lumar1298.wordpress.com/2016/07/17/26-weeks-letter-challenge-r/

Our first taste of rain just after we moved to Udon, the high street was just like a river…

 

Ribbons” Thai traditions….Brightly-coloured ribbon is wrapped around trees or other objects. These are all offerings to the spirits that reside there.

Well you just knew that alcohol would feature somewhere…..my son’s favorite rum 😉

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And Mum’s which he has yet sample…..lol

The famous Chalong Bay ” RUM

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And Yes! Before you tell me…it is empty…..well I did have to test it…you sometimes get a bad batch???????????

 

Well that’s it stay safe, laugh a lot and be happy….Love you all 🙂

 

Quiet the mind and the soul will speak.

Very true, just sitting quietly and freeing your thoughts is remarkably calming. I need calm, having retired, I feel the need for calm and also solitude at times ..not because I am angry, or mad at someone but just because I value time and now I have time to do that…it energises me and gets my thoughts flowing.

Living in Thailand has taught me to meditate and there is no lovelier place to do so….it may be at the beach under the shade of a palm tree,or in my quiet space at home just like Colleen of Silver Threading  click here on her mindful Mondays posts .

In fact meditation is part of daily life here. Most homes and places of business feature a ” Spirit House” just outside the building. In fact if you have a new business Thai’s always get it blessed by monks before it opens and that includes large corporate companies  like Tesco Lotus, Makro they all have an opening ceremony around the Spirit House. A new house or car is always blessed by monks for good luck.

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This picture is typical of a Thai House being blessed. The monks come and food is provided for them, they sit and eat with family and bless the house… this is generally done before any furniture is bought into the house.

My garden also has a spirit house which was here when we moved in..I would have loved to touch the paint up but was advised that I should leave it as it was.

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Now back to the diet, while trying to be mindful of what I eat I am discovering that vegetables are one of the ways to go and being aware. I have thought for a while that grain fed beef was good for you however I am changing my views and in these days of Gm foods etc Grain fed doesn’t hold such an attraction for me. It seems like quick way to fatten the calf so to speak whereas grass  fed obviously take longer to mature without additives so that’s the route I am taking. Seriously looking at where my food is made and raised and eating a diet filled with lots of veggies and raw to boot or very, very lightly steamed in some cases..so I am following the Thai way of eating .

What way of eating are you following? because I do a little Paleo and have found some lovely recipes which I will share at one point and on occassion I love ice cream …..whats your passion?

 

Batu and veggies

The fish is called Batu and is very similar to mackerel for the size of the fish it had quite a big backbone. It is quite an oily fish, this fish is also used for a dip like the one in the middle of the dish it is pounded together with chillies, lime also Pla or crab is sometimes added which is a acquired taste…I am getting to not like but can eat in small amounts…lol

Vegetables are varied and include long beans, white cabbage,cucumber,cauliflower, Thai basil, Grapow,banana flower, these white flowers( like lily heads) I don’t know the proper name and they are collected before the sun comes up, the flowers drop off overnight, lightly streamed after having removed stamen and eaten. They seem to be a little bit of a delicacy as only available at certain times of the year. Various vegetables of which I don’t know the names and when I ask the Thais don’t know the English translation.

This is why Thai’s are always eating as  most although it is on the increase, eat very little diary or carbs except for rice, sweet potato,yams. The diet generally is a healthy one as MS is also not as widely used as it once was.

Well that’s it for now stay safe, laugh a lot and be mindful and it will be Songcram here soon so we will be getting very, very wet….ha ha can’t wait…