Monday, October 20, 2008

giving Alms

Alms or almsgiving exists in a number of religions. in general, it involves giving materially to another as an act of religious virtue. in abrahamic religions, alms are given as charity to benefit the poor. in buddhism, alms are given by lay people to monks and nuns to nurture laic virtue, merit and blessings and to ensure monastic continuity. -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alms


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on sunday, we went to a buddhist monastery (pictured below) and gave alms for the monks.
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in thailand, as a rite of passage to adulthood, every male must practice as a monk for a period of time. maybe that's why it is rare to see violent acts (e.g. yelling, arguments, road rage, etc.). in a sea of traffic that is a daily and nightly occurrence, you might hear someone toot a horn, but it is only used as a gentle signal to let you know the driver's intention.
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aaaaaaaanywaaaaay...
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the monastery was set inside of a huge rock-structure, and we meditated to the sounds of chanting. we also were able to ask the elders questions, and we were blessed by the monks after giving alms.


. out of respect for the monks and the monastery, we did not take pictures of the inside area.
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