monks | Hole In The Donut Cultural Travel
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I looked up the definition upon returning to the hotel. Memory: the process of encoding, storing and retrieving information from the outside world that reaches our senses in the forms of chemical and physical stimuli. Earlier that day, I had casually glanced into the entrance of the Western Viharn at Wat Pho, one of the more famous temples in Bangkok. When I caught a glimpse of vermillion rugs leading to a golden Buddha sitting atop his massive throne I jerked to a stop. I stood rooted to the…

After the final packets of biscuits and dollops of sticky rice had been dropped into the monks’ pots during Luang Prabang’s daily alms giving ceremony, I followed the saffron robed procession through the rear gate of Wat Xieng Thong. A bold sun rode majestically into a robin’s egg sky, igniting the gilt facade of the chariot house on one side of the courtyard. On the other side, sparks burst from a colored glass mosaic tree of life that adorned an entire wall of one of the temples. Squinting…

Can’t view the above YouTube video of monks receiving alms in Luang Prabang, Laos? Cllck here.

In the grainy gray light just before dawn I stole from my suite at the Luang Say Residence and walked the silent streets of Luang Prabang to witness Binthabhat, the daily practice of giving alms to monks. I was conflicted over this event. As a photographer I desperately wanted to take photos of the spiritual procession but as a Buddhist I wanted to show my respect for the sangha, the community of ordained monks. I compromised, shoving my camera into my backpack with a commitment that I wouldn’t…

Can’t view the above YouTube video of the Tiger Temple in Kanchanaburi, Thailand? Click here.