This Monk was overseeing some boys
as they go about gathering the
morning offerings of food.  All over the
country, Monks walk the streets in the
morning, and people believe they will
receive special blessings by giving
them food or small gifts.
This was what seemed to be a camp
for young boys for teaching about
Buddhism.  We stopped the car and I
went to the edge of a stone wall and
they mostly seemed quite happy to
smile and even pose for pictures.
My friend Alan from California who I
met at my guesthouse.  He's in the
outside area of the temple. Photo-
graphy is allowed everywhere, an
interesting mix with the worshippers.
This shows the gateway to go into the
inner temple area to pray. You must
take off your shoes to go in, but
people just leave them scattered
around, not worried about theft. Aside
from a few shoes around, the area is in
immaculate condition.
This is the pagoda
in the inner court-
yard of the temple.
People circle it in
prayer, and also
stop at stations
around it to light
candles and offer
flowers to empower
their prayers.
Here's a woman pouring oil onto
floating candles to keep an eternal
flame burning. Notice the statues of
different Buddha's which seem to be
everywhere.
This family is praying to the Jade
Buddha. I suppose each family or
person has their favorite Buddhas to
pray to. There are also donation boxes
to give a financial offering.
A boy lights a candle for a prayer as
his mother looks to the statue and
holds incense and a flower.  The
candles and flowers are available for
purchase from the temple.
Here are more worshippers lighting
the incense and candles, and
praying with flowers. It can get rather
crowded at times.
People bow before the monk as he
dips sticks in holy water and flicks it on
them for a blessing. Notice quite a few
statues of Buddha in the room, as well
as photos of the King of Thailand.
Some younger people
make the rounds on
the prayer path  
around the golden
pagoda.   I like this
photo especially well
because you see a
devout girl in focused
prayer, then a girl
who seems more
concerned with her
footwork, and then... a
guy on a cell phone!
And here is a little kid walking his laps
with a rose, and his bright outfit that
many Thai's wear to the temple. I
thought the contrast was interesting
with the golden formality of the
statues, yet the casualness of all the
"Hawaiian" shirts.
All photos copyright Robert Bowling.
Please email for permission to download.
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Buddhism in Thailand
CLICK to enlarge photo
I'll end this Buddhism segment for now with two vertical shots: close-ups of men at
the temple.  The one on the left is obviously worshipping and praying to Buddha
amid the incense wafting in the air at the inner pagoda.

The man on the right is in completely different circumstances. He is outside on the
long steps leading up to the temple area.  He is blind, and notice also his missing
hand.  I was able to capture a photo right as this woman dropped a few coins into
his bowl. It is one of my favorites in my portfolio.
Below you will find some of my photos of the Buddhist temple that overlooks Chiang Mai from a nearby
hill/mountain, and the different scenes one might see when visiting there.

Though FLC mostly deals with TRIBAL people and their Animist belief system, I have included these
photos because I think they are interesting, plus Buddhism does play a role in the Ministry in the following
sense:  The low-land people, the Thai's, are Buddhist.  (FLC ministry deals with a few of these people
through the ESL ministry in Chiang Mai.) They are a friendly people, (come to Thailand and see!) but they
do not have much concern for the tribal people in the mountains.  I think it is fair to say that the tribal
people are at best, ignored, and sometimes there is definite animosity between the groups.

Hence, the point is: FLC needs to reach tribal people to spread the Good News of Jesus, but they also
deal with the years of neglect the villages have endured (from the Thais in Thailand, and the Burmese in
Burma) and the ensuing health problems and quality-of-life issues.  In fairness, the Thai Government IS
starting to do more work to support tribal villages; I saw several solar projects to bring electricity to remote
villages. But it still seems to be largely up to FLC and other Christian mission groups to do most of the
work.  I hope you enjoy this look into scenes at a Buddhist temple.