Invoking The Land Guardians
talk on Thai Spirit Houses and local customs
with Marisa Cranfill
at the Rojana Dhamma Center, Suk 23
Saturday 28th January 2017, 1-3pm
|You have seen these little palaces everywhere, from the simple to the ornate, with all kinds of offerings placed around them. What are they? What are the rituals? Is this some kind of animism? How does it tie with Buddhism?
We are joined in Bangkok by Marisa Cranfill – who is one of very few Westerners who is an expert on the topic of Thai Spirit Houses.
Come early to get a seat as this event will be packed out! There is enough space, but only 115 chairs, so if you are able to sit on the meditation mats, please leave the proper chairs for those who need them.
Thai society is rich in culture, history, Buddhism and animism. Thai’s love to make offerings and request boons. They are quick to believe in spirits and magic, while still holding Buddhism as the main ideal.
Spirit Houses are a part of this culture. Wildly different in style, they nonetheless have specific features. Some are they for ground and some for celestials! The colour, contents, and positioning on the land are all highly relevant. What offerings you can make to which spirit house … it is important to know! How to get one installed, and how to maintain the proper rituals … This is a really great topic. All visitors to Thailand have wondered about it.
Marisa’s new Spirit House Connection is now live – with blogs, images and videos on Thai shrines, customs and of course, spirit houses.
Marisa ran her family business exporting Thai Silk in high fashion under the fashion label Marisa Baratelli. You may have seen the showroom on Sukhumvit 31 in the past. She modeled, designed, and looked after the artistic/creative side, as well as the business itself. Five years ago Marisa transitioned from the world of catwalks and extravagant fashion to teach Yoga, Qi Gong and Vipassana meditation.
Frequent trips to Thailand as a child compelled her to study comparative religions in Japan, India and China through Long Island University, as well as speaking Thai language. Seeing her Thai ‘family’ making offerings to the local guardian spirits prompted her to research this topic, and become one of very few westerners knowledgeable in its intricacies.
Please follow the map. It is VERY precise. It is easy to find: there are only one or two turns depending on which direction you are coming from. It is an 11 minute walk from Asoke BTS and even closer to Sukhumvit MRT
Go down Sukhumvit 23 to the first four way intersection. Turn right, and then turn right again at the end of the road.
Or just ask the motorcycles inside Sukhumvit 23 – they know the way.
A few tips:
- Motorcycles inside Soi 23 mostly know the way – in Thai it is ‘Rojana-tam’
- Don’t ask locals or taxi drivers the way – they often don’t know the Rojana Centre, and will send you somewhere else instead. Go to Sukhumvit 23 and find your own way.
- Follow the map – plenty of landmarks are shown and it it extremely precise!
- Quite a few other foreigners will be heading there at the same time.
Here are the GPS coordinates if you prefer : 13.739356, 100.564748
The little Bangkok Sangha: