Tuesday, January 15, 2013

2013 Dhammachai Dhutanga Jan 2-Jan 27

Pilgrimage Walk (1128 monks) explained by Venerable Sander. 

Many lay people all over Thailand have come together to rejoice in the merits and support 1,128 monks participating in this year’s Dhammachai Dhutanga, ( January 2-Janary 27th) this is a pilgrimage walk and designed for monks who have dedicated to train themselves by voluntarily taking on ascetic practices in order to cultivate renunciation and contentment, and to create good energy, for all those around. The dhutanga austerities are meant to deepen the practice of meditation and assist in living the Holy Life. The aim is to help the practitioner to develop detachment with material things including the body.

The monks will travel through different provinces in Thailand and end their pilgrimage on January 27th.   This pilgrimage walk is an inspiration for all laypeople who come together to pay respect and also to rejoice in the merits of the monks practicing dhutanga. It restore's and revive's people's spirit and morale in Buddhist practice across the country.   

Dhutanga in general helps the practitioner to overcome the attachment to things like clothes, food, the comfort of one's sleeping place, etc. In Thai language, 'Thudong', derived from Pali Dhutanga, colloquially refers to the practice of walking and staying in the open, maybe with a mosquito net, without much property and without any other business to do travelling around to find good meditation teachers and practice for oneself.   

Venerable Dhammajayo, the Abbot of Dhammakaya tries to use the Dhutanga walk as a way to inspire people to learn more about the monk's life, and involve people more in Buddhist practice.  Finally, and most importantly, it is a way to honor Venerable Sodh, our grandfather Abbot who rediscovered the Dhammakaya meditation technique, and to establish the practice of honoring the important places in his life.   

Spreading the flowers is a way for people to learn to honor the Sangha, and honor Buddhism. The fact that the pilgrimage is very popular indicates people have a need for showing their support for Buddhism.

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