Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Alms Walk

So everyday, the monks go out and people donate food to the Wat, this is called the Alms Walk.   This helps them gain good merit (basically good Karma) to help them be reborn into a better life.  The belief is that you have good merit and bad merit, and depending on how much of each affects what you next life will be.  They actually do not call it "reincarnation", they call it rebirth.  Now if you do a lot of bad things, they believe you will be born into a worse life such as being very poor, as an animal, bugs, ghost or hell beings.  If you do good merit you will be born into a better life.  They also believe you can share you merit with others to help them get into a better life.  At the end of every meditation you share your merit with all things, whether it be your family, friends, animals, or hell beings.  They say that sharing you merit is like having a lit candle and lighting other peoples candles as you don't loose your own merit but actually gain as you are helping others light their candles to spread the light.  I've went on this a couple times and its amazing how generous people are here, even when the people here are in severe poverty they find things to give.  In return the monks give them a blessing for the food.  The walk is at 6:00 am every morning and the monks actually walk in their bare feet down the highway and other roads.  They walk for about 30-40 minutes and then a truck picks them up and we head back to the Wat.  The people give things such as rice and other food.  Now this is not left overs, it is food prepared especially for the monk, as I found out a couple of times as the bags of food were so hot I couldn't even hold them.  Thanks to Per for taking these pictures.

I am in this picture as  they get lots of stuff so the laypeople help them carry it.  There are people that follow on bikes with bags to collect all the food to take back to the Wat.

As you can see from the basket in the back of the truck, people here are very generous.

1 comment:

  1. Phenomenal! I bet this was an amazing experience.