Morning Alms GivingPosted on Sep 18 in Laos, Morning Alms Givingby ShelynPrint
The tranquility of Luang Prabang, framed by nature’s greenery, can never be flawless without the highlight of unique, vibrant, and cheerful orange.
Dressed in eye catching saffron robes, the charming monks always walk in pairs with an umbrella to shield themselves from the sun. They are the trademark of Laos, symbolizes the spiritual belief and the faiths in Buddhism.
Every day before sunrise, monks leave the temples in silent procession and make their daily alms rounds through town. Buddhist devotees, usually are the local residents, wait outside their houses to donate the rice or vegetable to the passing monks.
Morning alms giving has become a major tourists attraction that some tourists might be overly excited seeing a wave of orange flowing down the streets and start behaving like a monkey as depicted in the picture.
So learn to Respect the Tak Bat (Morning monk’s round) whenever you bump into them. The picture below saves my time from writing.
A brief information on Buddhism guide which I always agree with.
The basic tenets of Buddhism guide in Laos (and many other Buddhism countries) include the Four Noble Truths:
- To live is to suffer – all sentient beings suffer.
- The cause of suffering is desire, e.g., for happiness, for life, for permanence, for cessation of suffering, and so on.
- To cease to suffer, one must cease to desire.
- Cessation of desire (enlightenment or nirvana) may occur by following Eightfold Path of right thought, right resolve, right speech, right action, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration.
In case you’re not familiar with Buddhism, its teaching is actually more like a philosophy of life rather than requiring us to be superstitious and to pray to get a better life.
It’s actually quite true that most of our suffering derived from strong desire.
What makes you unhappy when your salary is lower than your colleague who appears to be less capable than you? Your desire to get better pay.
What makes you unhappy when your girlfriend or boyfriend wants to break up with you? Your desire to possess her/him, and your desire to possess the relationship.
What makes you failed to escape from 9-to-9 rat race trap that you don’t like? Your desire to earn lots of money to enjoy luxurious life.
But then again, if someone has no desire at all, there will be no motivation in life. Anyway, I always remind myself of these 4 noble truths whenever I was perplexed or upset with something hoping to ease the pain. Sometimes it helped, but most of the time it didn’t, it’s just simply not easy to cease to desire.