In ’07 after the first set of 6 Dhamma Talks, we still had a reservation at Baan Aree, and since things were ticking along well, we decided to invite some other speakers. We arranged 3 more evenings, with local businessman and huge supporter for Dhamma in Bangkok Khun Danai Chanchaochai, with Thailand’s foremost Bhikkhuni Ven Dhammananda, and with an open mic night.
The impetus was clear. After the first weeks, I had made an effort to identify everyone I could by name. Add to this Dr Holly’s childhood training to always find the person in the room who had no one to talk to. So we suddenly found that many people were making firm friendships, and there was a ‘sangha’ feeling. This was worth keeping going.
My PR skills were still very limited. I spend many many days walking and taxiing around Bangkok trying to find somewhere to put up a poster. With very little success. I had just learned to use WORDPRESS, but still had little idea of what a website should look like, or how to lay it out. I also had to learn Photoshop to do the graphics, which is a whole art form in itself.
Still, I suddenly realised that I could set up an event and run it. In 2013 someone said that our events are ‘professional’, which surprised me, but there is an attention to detail which really helps. Back in ’07 however, the idea of inviting speakers and holding an event was new, so there was nothing but experience to learn from.
Some of the pictures from our first events, with Khun Danai, Bhikkhuni Dhammananda, and an open mic night (a format we have not repeated!)