My life is changed because ofthe mass ordination project
I change my negative thoughtsabout the monk… Now!
Edited from the Inner Dream Kindergarten program broadcasting on DMC
I am Phra Chatchawan Cārudhammo, 36 years old. Before I was ordained as a monk in the 100,000-monk Summer Mass Ordination Nationwide Project at Suansom Temple in Samuth Prakarn province, I was working as a regional manager of Coffee Today Co., Ltd and I had perfect life in Thai society. I graduated from the faculty of Political Science. When I was studying, I had been chosen to be the head of the students. When I had graduated, I had a good job as a manager with high salary. My boss loved and trusted in me because I was smart, hard working, clever and work happily. In the weekdays I worked hard, so in the weekend I rewarded myself so much. I went to eat, play, and dance almost everywhere that was well-known. About the nightlife, I roamed to pubs and bars to drink and dance. I subscribed to be the member of almost pubs. I live luxuriously, was happy with night roaming like the termite flies to fire.
Later, my mother often asked me to do the promise I had made with her and asked me that I graduated, had a good job and high salary, why I wasn’t ordained for her. Even though my mother usually asked me to be ordained, I still delayed to do because I had no idea about ordination, I did not believe in the monk at all. I saw the news of the bad monks many times, so I thought that there was no good monk and the monks did not work anymore, so these were deteriorating the Buddhism. If I had to make merit, I always avoided doing with the monks. I made merit with the Buddha Images instead by worship the Buddha Images with flowers, joss sticks and candles. I thought that the images could not go anywhere and they could not deteriorate the Buddhism as well.
Even though I had negative thoughts about the monk, I could not stand for my mother’s begging. I really planned to be ordained in Lampang province if I had to do for my mother and I would be a monk for only five days which it would cost me 100,000 total Baht. I knew later that there is a mass ordination project which is free of charge that is Luang Phaw’s one. I calculated at once about the break-even point. If I had gone to ordain in Lampang, I would have paid 100,000 Baht. If I participate in this project, I would pay nothing. Which one is better? I thought like that and I selected to participate in your project at once. But in the first few days the thought of break-even point would turn to break even my mind. I was displeased everything and did not understand that why the teaching monk commanded the manager like me to clean the toilet, especially the sewer. When I had to insert my hand into the sewer and cleaned it, I thought that “Oh! What the ordination it is! Why I have to do like this!”
The teaching monks gave the reasons that cleaning the toilet seemed to be the low-level task, but if you can do it, it would reduce your stubbornness. The monks have to remove their defilements and lessen their stubbornness before practice and gain other high-level Dhamma. At that time I did not know what the stubbornness it is. I knew only that I had never cleaned any toilet including ones in my house since I was born. But the toilets here, who did stool!
Moreover, when I was ordained in this project on the first three days, I had to get up at 4.30 a.m. and not have dinner. I had to practice and be trained many disciples so that I felt like I was in the hell. I felt like this for 3 days and always thought that “I must go out! Sure!” And then, I prepared to pack my luggage to go back home and thought that spending 100,000 Baht to be ordained in Lampang was better.
Suddenly, the teaching monks helped an 80-year man up to enter and told us that “He is our new member. He will be ordained with you.” I looked at him and thought that he was so old and not healthy. But he tried to do everything we did with patience because he wanted the temple to allow him to be ordained. When I saw like that, I realized suddenly that how valuable the ordination is! Even though he was an old man, he fought with his life for it. How’s about me? The man who always thinks that I am good, smart, cool and young like me, why I did it unwillingly! I did it worse than this old man. So I decided not to go home and thought that “I am just patient and when this project is over, my mother will not ask me about it again.”
During that time, I had to be patient to cultivate myself until the ordination day. And the apology day arrived, while I was bowing my mother’s feet, I suddenly felt extremely joy with no reason. I had never felt like this before, I was so happy that I could not restrain my tear. When I saw my mother crying, I felt much more joy and cried even more.
The time passing by, the lessons here have taught me and changed a lot of my bad attitudes. This is because I had never known that the good monks have to cultivate themselves to be self-disciple, obedient and patient much more like this. The good monks have to keep the temple clean to attract the congregation to listen and study Dhamma. The good monks have to keep their precepts strictly and well. The most important is they have to meditate to purify their mind to attain Dhamma. I also found that such the strictly monastic practices are able to unawares remove my defilements in my mind. Now I can clean the sewer of toilet easily because I already take off my hat of manager. I detached many things that ever made me stubborn. Now I see the others’ values and am ready to receive the good advices and virtues to perform. I also realize that why Luang Phaw sets the training period for 49 days or at least one year.
If I decided to spend 100,000 Baht because I wanted to be ordained for only five days, I would have got nothing. I would not know how to be the real monk. If someone had met me within five days of my monkhood, I would have not been good enough to make him believe in me, believe in my monkhood. In addition, he would have the negative thoughts about the monk like me in the past. And when I had disrobed, I would have told anyone that “I gained nothing from ordination, in addition, I spent 100,000 Baht.”
Dear Luang Phaw, I feel that I am lucky and proud to be your monastic son. You are the monk who keep the precept strictly and well, have the nice manner and do the monastic practices strictly. Moreover, you have the long and wide vision so that I would like to be as a monk to help your works furthermore.
Namaste Luang Phaw with the highest respect
Phra Chatchawan Cārudhammo