Saturday 20th June
THE THERAVADA PUJA
led by Ajahn Vajiro
at the Rojana Center, Suk. 23
Instead of the usual simple dharma talk format, this time we will try something new in Bangkok – a full ‘Tamwat’ (morning chanting and puja). This is actually how things work in the Buddhist monasteries the world over.
You’re welcome to just observe, or join in – everything will be printed out and explained.
Ajahn Vajiro has been ordained as a Buddhist monk for 35 years.
We will gather in a new venue for us – the Rojana center on Sukhmvit 23 – it’s an 11 minute walk from Asoke BTS and MRT, or you can take a motorcycle from Soi 23.
- 9:00 gather at the center
- 9:30 Start of the Puja
- 10:00 Dharma talk Theravada Buddhism in Operation with Ajahn Vajiro
- 10:45 Questions and comments
- 11:00 Formal food offering and blessing
There is no charge, and no need to book in advance. Please come on time though, as it is disturbing to the proceedings if people are coming and going.
Every morning and evening in Thai temples there is a ‘Puja’ (Bucha Phra) – a ceremony where the community of the monastery gathers, lights candles and incense, and performs some chanting and bowing rites.
Why is this format universally adopted by communities practising meditation and studying Buddhism around the world in many different cultures? Even compared to Tibetan Buddhism, separated by centuries from the Theravada Buddhist world, we find similar daily rituals.
Generally in Bangkok we have eliminated this part of the Buddhist culture in favour of simple lecture style talks, to make it easy for people. But note this is not how it works in the monasteries. And for good reasons.
You might have seen such proceedings in Thai monasteries. Now you can understand what’s going on step by step. You are welcome to join in or just observe.
Dharma Talk Topic:
You can’t be in Thailand long before you see monks, monasteries, and Buddhism. You might well know some of the foundations of Buddhist thought and practise. But how do these abstract ideas relate to the actual, on-the-ground practises that you find in the monastery? What is the benefit of years spent living a disciplined life within the Vinaya.
The Theravada tradition of Buddhism is found in SE Asia, primarily Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Sri Lanka. The teachings are considered by all schools of Buddhism to be the closest we can get to the actual words of the Buddha.
But over time of course, there have been many adaptations.
Ajahn Vajiro will talk on the Theravada path of Buddhism, with an emphasis on the Monastic tradition.
VEN. AJAHN VAJIRO was born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 1953. His father was English, his mother part French. He studied in England and obtained a degree in economics in 1974, after which he trained and worked for a while in the City of London.
He was already interested in Buddhism by 1977 when he met Luang Por Chah, Luang Por Sumedho and other bhikkhus at the Hampstead Vihara (Dhammapadipa) in North London. He joined that community in London in 1978. In 1979 he went as an anagarika to Thailand, following Luang Por Chah after the second visit to the West. In June 1980 he received upasampada (higher ordination) at Wat Nong Pah Pong.
Currently he is based in Portugal, where he has established a new monastery.
This is a new location for us, but we will be here every month from now on, so it is good to get on your radar.
The Rojana Center is on Sukhumvit 21 Soi 1 – or you can more easily get there from Sukhumvit 23. It is an 11 minute walk from Asoke BTS and MRT stations. Best to cross over Asoke Raod by the skywalk from the BTS station – it will save you much time!
Easiest is to take a motorcycle from the entrance to Soi 23 – the motorcycle drivers all know exactly where the Rojana Center is.