Hi there I’m Aria – and I was recently in a video where I mentioned – how I spent some time as a monk in a monastery in Thailand and people seem to wan na hear that story. So this is that story, What an intro that was, It’s beautiful here. It makes me feel like I’m back in Thailand, except there was a drunk couple fighting in an Arby’s down the street. Don’t really have that in Thailand. My dad works in the hotel business, so we bounced around overseas.
Most of my life Spent some time in Singapore to Bali even some time in France, bonjour And then I also ended up in Chiang Mai, Thailand, which is where I finished high school And typically in Southeast Asia. Young men before they’re married they’ll spend some time in the monastery to earn religious merit, social merit and blessings for their families in this lifetime or the next ,’cause. We believe in rebirth, Which is swell So after I graduated high school, I entered the monastery for a couple of weeks and my younger brother joined me to give thanks and honor my parents for taking care of me for the past 17 years, which included putting up with a lot of the shenanigans. I would get up to One time my principal did call my mother in because I kicked a sign down in the mountains, ( yelling ), So once we moved into the monastery we weren’t made monks right away. First, we had to have our heads shaved as well as our eyebrows, which was quite a look for me, But essentially you’re, shaving off all your hair as a way of renouncing worldliness, and so once that’s done.
You wear white robes for a few days before your big ordination ceremony, which is a prayer ceremony led by the other monks and my family, attended, and then, after that I was given my saffron robes and was officially ordained. I never really learned how to put on those robes, though they tried to teach me, but I think they gave up after, like the second hour You got ta wrap it around here you go over the shoulder, it gets really complicated. The other monks probably saw me and they were like that. Kid does not know what he’s doing Once you have the head shaved, the eyebrows shaved. You look like a monk, so it’s okay, It’S all good, So once you become a monk, the routine is fairly well routine.
You wake up early in the morning at the crack of dawn and you walk around barefoot in the local village collecting alms, which are essentially offerings of food. So, basically, we would form a long line and just walk around the local neighborhood and the townspeople would one at a time, give us alms into individual bowls that we had. So once you have all your food, you convene in a big dining area and have a communal meal And then the rest of the day is fairly relaxed. You basically spend it learning scriptures, sweeping the monastery before at dusk, convening in the big temple for a prayer session which can last up to two hours, which can be pretty tough, especially when you’re on your knees and your feet are in an awkward position. But then, after the prayers end you return to bed and then you repeat the cycle: the next day, But if I’m being perfectly honest, it was tough, especially at first You know coming in as a hormonal teenager into this setting, where you’re stripped away from everything you’re used to it got tough at times, and I remember the first few days, I really had a difficult time, which sounds incredibly whiny, considering you’re, basically given food, and you Spend the rest of your days, kind of relaxing and praying and meditating, but I think, as with anything in life, when there’s a big change in your life, especially as a teenager, it takes some time to get used to.
But I think that’s kind of part of the journey in a way. It’S part of the challenge. You learn to strip away these things that aren’t really necessary in your life. That’S the beauty of spending the time in the monastery is that you learn that these things that I was so dependent on didn’t really need them in the end. Did I really need to spend time on MySpace Spending hours designing the theme for my page No, I did not And no matter how good my page looked and it looked great did I need to be doing that No Being able to experience Buddhism at that level is a experience.
I never really thought that I’d appreciate as much as I do now. ^Being third-culture, kids. I don’t think anyone ^would’ve begrudged us if we hadn’t ^spent time in the monastery ^so. I think it meant more to my parents ^that. We actually had And so I’m grateful to have had that opportunity to do so, And I still consider myself a Buddhist to this day, because Buddhism in many ways is just a way of life.
The principles it preaches are just rooted in the core values that we all everyday should be practicing, no matter what religion we are Be kind to others, be tolerant, be compassionate and there’s something just so beautiful in that simplicity, And so, if any of you out there Wan na consider Buddhism, or maybe even spending some time in a monastery. Please do so they would welcome you with open arms.