• Concepts of Thai Buddhism: Karma, Merit, Rebirth & Nirvana

    Concepts of Karma, Merit, Rebirth & Nirvana

    Karma, merit, rebirth, and nirvana are important concepts in Thai Buddhism. They are essential keys for followers to understand. Each one goes hand in hand, which is important to realize. The Thai Buddhist seeks good karma by making merit so that rebirth leads closer to the supreme goal of nirvana. Karma & Making Merit Karma is a natural law of the universe. No deity, priest, or monk rules karma. When thinking of gravity, we know that what comes up must come down. Karma exists with it’s own sort of law. What you do now affects what happens later.  The concepts of karma and making merit are tied together. Making merit…

  • How to Pray and Make an Offering at a Thailand Temple

    How to Pray and Make an Offering at a Thailand Temple

    Whether a Buddhist or not, all can show respect, pray, and make an offering at the temples of Thailand. However, bear in mind not all temples are the same. Contrary to popular belief different temples can have different meanings. There are temples devoted to the Queen, to the city of Bangkok, to those who have passed over, and more. Because of this there may be slight differences in how you make an offering and the praying. Generally speaking though, the offering consists of the same items….candle, flower, and incense. Wai Phra is the name of an offering. The candle symbolizes the enlightenment of Buddha. At the same time, this candle…

  • Explore the Wai in Thai Culture
    Buddhism,  Culture,  Travel

    Explore the Wai in Thai Culture

    The wai is an important gesture in Thailand culture. Thai people use the wai to greet one another, to pray, and show respect. The wai may be included with a thank you. It is even performed when apologizing. This aspect of Thailand culture is displayed in all of the aforementioned situations. In addition, the position of the wai relative to the body has different meanings as well.   First, let’s talk about form. Touch hands together at the chest level. You then place the hands and fingers together in symmetry. Elbows should be close to the sides of the body as opposed to out and away in the air. This…

  • Lotus flower in Buddhism & Thai Culture
    Buddhism,  Culture

    Examining the Lotus Flower in Buddhism and Thai Culture

    The lotus flower is a sacred symbol of Buddhism. It is found throughout Thai culture. Found in muddy waters, the lotus rises above to show off it’s beauty. This feat is symbolic in Buddhism as it represents enlightenment. The lovely look of the flower is symbolic of purity. Throughout Thai literature and art it reflects feminine beauty. Known as ‘bua’ in the Thai language, the lotus is one the most important images in both Buddhism and Thai culture. Lotus is symbolic of the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism. For more on this subject, read Quick Introduction to Thai Buddhism. The murky waters the flower grows in represents suffering. Suffering is the…

  • Buddhism in Thailand: A Quick Introduction

    Buddhism in Thailand: A Quick Introduction

    From an early age I was drawn to the peaceful religion of Buddhism. The teachings had always made a lot of sense to me. I have since married a Thai woman, traveled throughout Thailand, and have also prayed at Buddhist temples. What exactly is Buddhism though? Seeing that I read this question often, I have attempted a quick introduction to those who may be interested. With this in mind, the Buddhism I discuss here is Theravada Buddhism, the most popular religion of Thailand. Quickly, a few translations of words frequently heard in the Thai language… To make merit – tham bun Temple – wat Holy, sacred – saksit Thai Buddhists will…