Thai Girlfriend Advisor

Relationship advice for Western Men and Thai Women

Author: Dean (Page 2 of 2)

Angella takes Dean to Tam Buhn with Master Monk “Luang Phor Jarun”

I thought I would add this post here as it is a very positive article about the experiences I have had with the practice of Tam Buhn in Thailand. I have had a few experiences now and I feel that as a Western man married to a Thai woman I should show respect for her culture and gain an understanding of it to help me in our relationship, so here is one experience I have had.

Luang Phor Jarun is a well respected Thai Monk

Angella had been planning for some time to take me to see the Master monk Luang Phor Jarun. He is quite a well reknown and respected monk who is now into his 80′s……..you can read about him at http://www.jarun.org

So on one Sunday morning we set off to The Abbot, Wat Ambhavan, Promburi District. He only comes out to recieve Tam Buhn twice a day and so we aimed at the morning session which we guessed would be at 11am. However when we arrived we found out that we had missed him that morning but he would be back out again at 2pm. Driving all that way we decided to wait until 2pm and just enjoy exploring around the Abbot as it is a very peaceful place.

the abbot is a place for meditation and I know Angella has often been there sometimes for 3 days or 7 Days to practice Vippissana  meditation

In fact the abbot is a place for meditation and I know Angella has often been there sometimes for 3 days or 7 Days to practice Vippissana  meditation, the practice of mindfulness meditation. I won’t go into detail here but from what I have learned it involves many hours of meditation and silence and although I also practice meditation I have yet to try this.

A Tarot Card Reader told us there was a possibility of some accidents involving our children!!

The first thing we decided to do was to set some creatures free into the River. By this I mean in particlar turtles and eels that we bought from some sellers at the gates of the Abbot. You see the day before we had been for a tarot card reading with a reader that Angella respects very much and she had told us both that there was possibility of some accidents involving our children. Clearly this is not something we cold ignore and so the practice of setting some creatures free and saying some prayers about our children at the same time is a way of helping to keep them safe.

We took time to chat to a Chinese Monk before the Master came out

So down by the rivers edge we set 2 turtles free, which was really quite funny and cute to watch and some eels also. We then spent some more time wondering the Abbot which included having some lunch that the meditation groups who are there for the 3 day meditation practice would eat (which is all free I might add…not the tastiest but there you go)…We wondered the souveneir type stalls and took some time to chat to a Chinese monk in the temple area before The Master came out.

You could see how well known and respected this monk is as many people began to gather in and around the temple area 30 minutes before 2pm. Many of these people would bear gifts to give to the Monk and many like ourselves would have an envelope with money to present to him in the form of Tam Buhn. This money is a gift and is used by the Monk to do good things with such as build Temples, shelters and other things that can help people.

It seems that dogs have figured out that Temples are a good place to sleep and eat for free!

What is important to understand about these temples is that are in fact a refuge also for people in need. If you have no food or money you can go to a temple and get food for free. You can pray and meditate. One funny note is it seems dogs have figured this one out because there are many dogs hanging around but I don’t know if it was just me but they seemed quite passive and peaceful almost as if the whole Spiritual experience and way of being had influenced their behavior in some way. Not sure if they practiced meditation but many seemed happy sleeping all over the place and when the chimes rang for the hour clock they all started howling!!!

As the time approached 2pm it was amazing to see how many people had gathered and now the temple area was quite full and overflowing. We took off our shoes as is the custom and found a spot to sit and wait for the Monk to appear. When he did it was almost like a celebrity had arrived, he had helpers to help him of course because he is very old and there was a sort of soft gasp from everyone when he came out and sat in the grand chair.

You offer your Tam Buhn gift to create good Karma

As he came out everyone shuffled on their knees closer to him and to be able to see him and then people begin to line up to present their Tam Buhn gift to him. What is important here is to offer the gift with both hands and lifted up to him. The idea is he will bless you for this and use it for good thus creating good karma for you in this life and also the next life.

What impresses me is how this promotes giving and sharing

Eventually we made it to our turn and presented our gifts. It was all over very quickly but there is a sort of reverence and energy you feel when you do this and I must be honest I quite enjoyed it. What impresses me is how this promotes giving and sharing without any real expectation which is very much the Buddhist way.

Next time I will share even more experiences that I have had with the various practices of Thai Buddhist Culture which I feel are good to know if you are in a relationship with a Thai woman.

Until then..Stay safe and Peaceful

Dean

The Social Commenter


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Puzzling situation with a Thai woman and a group of western women

I recently witnessed a puzzling situation with a Thai woman who was virtually ignored by a group of western women at a function.

As a social commentator and dealing with Intercultural relationship issues I think is important to comment on this to ask ourselves why this can happen in our culture today.

Don’t get me wrong because I don’t mean to judge or upset anyone and I know there will and can be numerous reasons why this situation can occur, not least of all the different personality styles we all have that can make us behave in different ways so I want to be fair to everyone.

…….but I just feel it is important to reflect back to our culture and society a situation like this so we can learn from it.

So on with the story…..

I had occasion to attend a junior sports function with my son who was part of the team. At these events it is customary for the team coach to do a presentation, give medals to players and helpers as well as give a recap talk on the season. The function was being held at the house of the woman who acted as admin manager to the coach and as is the way in many suburban Australian households the outside pergola area was to be used to hold the function.

The area was superbly fitted out with large sheltered area, gourmet style outside kitchen and BBQ on an upper deck and a large seating area and swimming pool on the lower deck. There would be around 14 couples to cater for and 14 teenage boys aged 14yrs as well as a few siblings.

I build this up a little because I want you to get a good picture in your mind of this event and the surroundings.

The day was to start at 1.30pm where we would all arrive and have few drinks before the presentation (beer for the men and wine for the women and soft drinks for the team). The first thing I noticed when I got to the function was the coach who also had his son with him and plays in the team also. He had his girlfriend with him who is a beautiful Thai woman of around 40, even though she looks barely over 30. I happen to know that they have been together for a while and his ex wife who was working that day so could not attend also knows her well too.

I got myself a beer and then  shook hands with the coach who promptly introduced me to his Thai girlfriend. She was lovely and even though some of her language was a little difficult to understand because of the noise she actually spoke quite good English and was very intelligent and friendly to talk to.

Now although I have lived in Australia for 20 years I have never really got accustomed to the strange pattern at BBQ’s and parties where the men and women tend to segregate themselves into groups and so I had to  laugh when all the women had very quickly planted themselves in all the seats around the large table on the lower deck section of the pergola leaving all the men on the upper section near the outside kitchen and BBQ…along with one “Coach’s Thai girlfriend” who was now strangely cut off from all the women there.

Although I had been talking with her and her coach boyfriend was making sure he gave her regular attention even though he had many people to talk with I couldn’t help feeling  a little sad for her because none of the other women there had spoken to her yet, even if just to make her feel welcome.

Am i different..?

As more time passed this situation didn’t change and still no other women had talked to her and then it was time for the presentation. The coach gave quite a lengthy but entertaining speech and handed out all the medals and trophies. During this time I noticed his Thai girlfriend was very supportive and involved in his talk, clapping and laughing at the humor he was injecting into the speech as well as taking pictures on her iphone.
Now I should say at this point that I understand that there would be a number of reasons why none of the women had as yet come to speak to her or invite her to join the other women at the table. Yes of course some people are a little shy in these situations and not really brave enough to approach new people that way…and I can also understand it would be very hard for the Thai woman to just go up to all these western women and try and join in, apart from which there were no seats left anyway.

But I also have to say that when you begin to look at this situation doesn’t it make you start to think a little? Here is one Asian women among all these Westerners who has not yet been approached by any of the western women at all. She is still showing full support and involvement in the event for her boyfriend but all on her own.

Is it just me or does this just seem a little bit strange..?

What also intrigues me is that I feel that many if not all of these western women would very likely swear blind that they would not do this to someone if asked. I also wonder how they would feel if in the same situation.

So why did this situation occur?

I know that these are all decent women with families, but it has to be noted that they did all did leave one Asian woman isolated without any attempt to include her or make her feel welcome.

So what is wrong with this picture, if the reason is because all those women were shy and couldn’t bring themselves to talk to her, does that make it acceptable?

….or was it because she is Asian ?


Am i a Stranger?

Credit to that Thai woman because  she showed such strong character and did not let the situation affect her behavior and her support for her boyfriend.

I for one believe we have much to learn from this…and don’t get me wrong it is not about bashing Australians or English, because remember I am and Englishman who has lived in Australia for 20 years… but as a writer, artist and social commentator I feel it my duty to be honest, present a real situation as it is to reflect this back to society in order to learn more about ourselves.

In contrast to this I have some experiences in Thailand with my own Thai girlfriend that will add some perspective to this situation and I will share those in a follow up post to this one but for now you may have an opinion on this…whether you agree or disagree…..

let me know what do you think..?


Dean

The Intercultural and Social Commentor



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Warm welcome for a Foreigner in Thailand

My last post was about a situation I witnessed in Australia where a Thai woman was ignored, whether intentionally or not by a group of western women at a junior sports function.

I left off saying that I had a couple of contrasting experiences myself when I was in Thailand with my Thai girlfriend Angella. Personally I must say that I think that we can learn much from Thai culture and Thai people as you will see.

The first contrasting experience is when I went with Angella to a a large seminar that she was acting as MC at. It was a full day at a large hotel in Bangkok with over 200 attendees…”All Thai”. Not only all Thai but 85% were Thai women with only a hand full of Thai men and then me..the only Farang Western guy there. I think I only knew about 3 people there also who were the organisers who I had met only once a few days before with Angella when they were planning the event.

Now I should point out that I can only speak a few words of Thai…Hello, I’m fine and thankyou and that’s about it…whereas Angella can speak English quite well and is very capable of holding a conversation in English.

But back to my experience, the day finished at around 4.30pm and I can hardly count how many Thai people had said hello to me in some way or another..it would be at least 20 or 30 people. All day long I was made to feel welcome whether it was a sawasdee ka (hello) or even just a smile..I never once felt like an alien westerner among Thai people and when we had lunch I even was asked many questions and had conversations with Thai people.

The second is Angella’s young niece of 4 years old. I know she is family but when I went to Angell’ s brothers house his gorgeous daughter served me with drinks, food and made sure I was welcome..she was not prompted to do this by her parents and she showed no fear of this big Farang man in her house…

does it make you think?

…..but what can be learned that is positive is that we can learn much from our Thai counterparts in the way that they welcome us into their country, their homes and their hearts….even at the tender age of 4 years old!!


On this planet which is forever growing smaller by the day we should learn to take the best from all cultures…there are also many good and positive things about our western culture that the asians can and do learn from….it’s time we stop thinking we know it all and open our eyes, our hearts and minds to all that that the people of this world have to offer..

Dean

The Intercultural and Social Commentor



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