After sai baht (sai baht is when you tak baht and the monks binta baht), Thip is busy preparing food to take with her for the monks for jahn hahn. I used to go to the temple every morning, but several things are going on that have caused me to change this cycle.
First and foremost is the heat in the afternoons, coupled with my need for regular and sizeable computer time. I need a good three hours daily for my writing, video projects, information gathering and staying in contact with loved ones. Additionally, I have recently gotten back into multiplayer gaming and the game console (Playstation 3) heats up as much, if not more, than my laptop. Back when I was going to the temple every morning, it would already be so hot outside by the time I got back home, that I could only access my computer for an hour at most without the risk of overheating. Of course, it’s no longer the hot or rainy season, but the same rules apply -- literally -- to lesser degree.
Thip says we need air conditioning. What does she know? Hah! Yes, she’s right, of course; at least air conditioning in one room that has a ceiling. We’ll get there; maybe next year.
Another thing is… I was not enjoying the banter the village women would get into when eating, after the jahn hahn ceremony. Not that I could understand what they were saying exactly, but, you know, you can pick up on a vibe without having to know the verbage. Thip explained that they just like to talk about other people and she doesn’t enjoy it either. I can imagine what they have to say about us when we’re not around (you DO know we are a favorite topic of conversation in the village, don’t you?). Anyway, what I do in situations that make me feel uncomfortable is just to remove myself.
Back in the Monsoon Season, on rainy days, I ended up going to jahn hahn anyway because my tuk-tuk has a roof and Thip’s “motosai” (motorcycle – Honda 110i, red) does not. Because rainy days are cooler, I could still get in some decent computer time when I got back home. Now that it is the cool season (November-January), I can work on the computer all morning long, no problem.
The third and final reason for cutting back on jahn hahn and Buddhist ceremonies in general, is that I’m undergoing somewhat of a religious transformation. It was prompted by my writing about my “stripped-down Buddhism” and later realizing that although these guidelines and beliefs have served me well over the past decades, my spiritual code has transformed into something a little different, while still retaining some elements of the old. I’ll hafta write about this at a later date to fully explain myself.