I have noticed this place for quit some time but in the past i was curious but to scared. Was I scared this time, not really. I guess I was ready. Friday morning I pulled into this beautiful courtyard were i was greeted by a monk who was doing some gardening (he had rubber boots on under his robe) I asked if there were any time to meditate and he invited me at 4pm. I was pretty excited to practice with the pros. So on my return there he was on the mower cutting grass and he gave me a kind wave. I was reading my meditation book and he was finishing up I guess but he started a vehicle and I was wondering what was going on. He tried to explain but his English was not clear but than I saw he had gotten the mower stuck. So yep I helped getting it out, it was a trip to say the least.
This kind sole told me to go into the temple i thought it was this one building but it was locked and he directed me to the other, temple confusion. I had no idea of etiquette so that's me winging it. The monks name is Vunsang which I found out the next day you don't call him by his name. You say Ahjuan which means teacher yes I called him Vunsang duh. So we go to the altar and I just about sat up on the same area as him he said no no you sit there. Than he said now we chant, chant long than meditate and gave out a giggle. Ya it was long about 1 1/2 hours with legs crossed but I loved it. Than we meditated for 30 min and he invited me to eat. I felt very honored.
The next day Saturday I was able to get more info via the Internet and a nice lady at the temple. Don't call him by name, take shoes off at door figured that one out on my own, bow three times when you enter and three times at altar, don't set higher than Ahjuan, don't point feet towards the Buddha. I don't Know how tho spell her name but it's V and she had two granddaughters with her 5 - 8 they were just as crazy as my kids. Made me miss them, the girls were fighting and loud but when we began to chant they settled down and it was a long time for them to set. It was amazing. After meditation I met a man KP and he took a lot of time to explain certain things and just get to know me and i didn't realize they were going to perform a ceremony yep more chanting but i was completely into it. This was the preparations for tomorrows ceremony. Yes KP invited me to eat with them. The food is Laos food lots of sticky rice and you use your fingers
mostly to eat good good food.
Sunday morning there were many people there to celebrate the birth of Buddha, his first ceremony, and the day of enlightenment. I know right i get to experience this blows my mind.
Lots of chanting its a time to donate. You take this bowl full of food and some money and empty it out on a table while making wishes for good things for family friends anything. Well I didn't have a basket so some of the women made one up and gave it to me to empty. Another wow.
We tied these stings on some of the Buddhas statues for good luck I had one left over and KP said put on Ahjuan. Ahjuan say you have good luck John. He had a banana in his hand while I was tying the string on, he said this is not for you, it made me laugh.
We finished the ceremony with offering food to Ahjuan and than KP made an announcement at the end he ask me to tell every one what brought me here. Ah Ah Ah. The funny thing was I didn't have any words of wisdom but I was able to speak clear and calm to a group of about 100 plus that i didn't know. Than we ate.
That was just what I experienced physically there is no way I could even begin to describe my emotions my deepest most inner thoughts.
"I am the owner of my karma .
I inherit my karma.
I am born of my karma.
I am related to my karma.
I live supported by my karma.
Whatever karma I create, whether good or evil, that I shall inherit."
The Buddha, Anguttara Nikaya V.57 - Upajjhatthana Sutta