[Buddha-l] Thai Buddhism in crisis

Erik Hoogcarspel jehms at xs4all.nl
Thu Dec 20 19:31:38 MST 2012

Hi Jo,
I do not agree with you here. If any organisation keeps up such a ridiculous tradition as the daily  alms collection it is just asking for trouble. Buddhism has to ajust.


Jo <ugg-5 at spro.net> schreef:

>It's a takeout world. People being taken out too-- by human not cosmic
>Probably the Burmese monks on loan are sure happy to move out of Burma.
>I predict that a majority of ordinary Thai will dump Buddhism and go
>for some version of Christianity--because you don't need to meditate,
>you don't need to spend money and time making merit since doing that is
>contrary to a lot of Protestant beliefs (i.e., God's grace is
>unpredictable), if you sin you can be forgiven on a weekly basis
>(Catholic), and you can show off if rich by building churches that have
>many fewer mouths to feed/support by donations than the monasteries. 
>Here Christianity goes right along with our other religion,
>Not heartening thoughts for the world's future (although Thai Buddhism
>was, and remains even abroad (except for a couple of outfits in UK), a
>matter mostly of ethnic association, so any impact on the world was and
>is probably moot. 
>Western Buddhism still has a chance to impact the world beneficially,
>if it doesn't continue to go bonkers over building wildly hyperbolic
>pagodas, supporting the luxurious lifestyle of lamas and gurus, and
>collecting tons of paraphernalia as advertised in Buddhist mags here.
>Western Buddhism might actually have a chance of responding, not
>reacting, to climate change/global warming/overuse of resources.
>On Behalf Of Dan Lusthaus
>Sent: Wednesday, December 19, 2012 9:56 PM
>From NYT
>Monks Lose Relevance as Thailand Grows Richer
>Commercial Buddhism in Thailand: Buddhism has been a way of life in
>Thailand for centuries, but inside the most popular temples is a trend
>that critics call “fast-food Buddhism.”
>Published: December 18, 2012
>BAAN PA CHI, Thailand — The monks of this northern Thai village no
>longer perform one of the defining rituals of Buddhism, the
>early-morning walk through the community to collect food. Instead, the
>temple’s abbot dials a local restaurant and has takeout delivered.
>The gilded roofs of Buddhist temples are as much a part of Thailand’s
>landscape as rice paddies and palm trees. The temples were once the
>heart of village life, serving as meeting places, guesthouses and
>community centers. 
>But many have become little more than ornaments of the past,
>marginalized by a shortage of monks and an increasingly secular
>“Consumerism is now the Thai religion,” said Phra Paisan Visalo, one of
>the country’s most respected monks. “In the past, people went to temple
>on every holy day. Now, they go to shopping malls.”
>The meditative lifestyle of the monkhood offers little allure to the
>iPhone generation. The number of monks and novices relative to the
>population has fallen by more than half over the last three decades.
>There are five monks and novices for every 1,000 people today, compared
>with 11 in 1980, when governments began keeping nationwide records.
>Although it is still relatively rare for temples to close, many
>districts are so short on monks that abbots here in northern Thailand
>recruit across the border from impoverished Myanmar, where monasteries
>are overflowing with novices.
>--rest of article at
>Also, 3 1/2 minute video at
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