The Monks Wear Orange

The head of the world's largest Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho

The picture above is the Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho, the largest reclining Buddha in the world. With some effort, you can get more of him in the picture, but this looks better. He's got to be 30 meters long.

At Wat Arun (across the river from Wat Pho) they had a "talk to the monk" area where I got an impromptu lesson in meditation. He was impressed that I could sit in full lotus, and that I could sit still for five minutes. So he said "follow me," and led me off behind the Wat to the associated meditation center, where I met Hartanto, Indonesian, former CEO, former Buddhist monk, and all-around charismatic meditation teacher and Buddhist school manager. And I met Sean from Colorado, who a year ago did his month as an Initiate, and is now returning to wear the robes again as a full monk. In a couple days he'll be shaving his head and eyebrows, donning an orange robe, and getting up at 4:00 AM every morning. Not forever though: unlike Christian religions where you're expected to enter the priesthood for good, a lot of Thai men spend a month or two of their life as a monk and then return to normal life. He sounded like he'd be in for several months to a year.

This is only a couple of the several very interesting people I've met so far. I've been here six days so far ...

I'll be headed to Myanmar in about a week. Connectivity is reported to be fairly poor within the country: I may be able to post to the blog, I almost certainly won't be able to get to my Gmail account. I expect to be there one to three weeks. Expect at least a couple more posts before then.