I love finding remote Buddhist temples here in Thailand – and seeing what there is to see. I’m not much of a buyer of things, but I just like to see what each temple has that is unique – because, invariably – there is something that blows me away.
We were down at this old Khmer ruins where the Thais built another, newer, Buddhist temple close to – and were looking around, shooting photos of us among the 900 year old temple walls and such. I realized that this was the same temple I’d visited five years prior.
A crazy thing happened during that visit, that I told my girlfriend (now wife) about, and I’ll tell you.
I walked into the small room where they have Thai amulets, statues, and other Buddhist items on display. Some are for sale, others are priceless antiques and never for sale.
I was alone – and when I walked in there was a man that came hobbling out of the back somewhere with his head down. He was very dark brown, and about 60 years old. When he looked up at me his face lit up and he immediately said – “Son!” He said, you have a son… (mee look chai – in Thai) I said, “Yes, I have a son.”
He said – “Florida.”
“What did you say?”
He said, “Florida,” very clearly.
I said, “Yes, I do have a son in Florida.” I repeated it in Thai to make sure he understood.
(Chai, mee look chai yoo Florida)
He smiled and put his head back down. I stood there not comprehending what just happened. I tried to speak with him in Thai to ask how he knew – but, he wasn’t answering any questions – just smiling… and saying it over and over again… “Son, Florida!”
I didn’t buy anything that trip. And I was quite floored by what happened.
I did remember the place, and when I realized we ended up there again today, I wondered if the man was still there – he wasn’t a monk – just a guy selling amulets at the temple – and part of the temple apparently.
Well, we went in and saw the guy there. That was exciting. However, there was no repeat performance. I didn’t prompt him or anything about Florida and my son. He did seem to be able to read my mind though.
I asked how much for one of the Buddha amulets I thought was cool. He looked at me and said 480 Thai baht. I thought about it for a minute. That was what I expected him to say. I have seen those same amulets for sale for that amount.
I declined and kept looking.
I found another amulet I thought was cool. I asked him how much… He turned his face to me, smiled big and looked deep into my mind… he said 300 THB.
That is the exact price I was thinking I would buy it at. It’s a polished rock – probably a type of marble, and the carved Buddha – inlaid – is exceptionally detailed and nice. It could have been 500, 1,000, or even 3,000 THB – it was that nice. At 300 THB I knew I’d buy it immediately.
I gave him the money.
He did it again with the next two amulets. It was as if he knew the price in my head that I would pay for each one.
Weird – right?
These things are not weird to Thais… there are people that are said to be able to see things others can’t.
I experienced this directly on a couple of occasions some years back as I meditated. I wrote this poem as a result of the experience. (oops, I thought I had posted it here at the site – but, I haven’t. I will try to find a copy and post it – linking to it here.)
I saw a being on the floor of the spare bedroom back in Florida as I meditated. I was married at the time to another person, and we hadn’t known – but, she was in the early stages of pregnancy. The being I saw was not really man or woman that I could tell – but it was related to us – to me, to my wife, to my family – I felt the connection it had with my parents, me, and my wife… it was part of all of us. A very strange experience, I’m sure I don’t have to tell you.
It was the most bizarre thing in my life… surpassing even hearing a voice twice in one night – that spoke very clearly and about something that didn’t really make sense to me about 3 years before this – and with nothing to do with meditation.
This was far beyond that… because my wife spontaneously aborted in the shower the following night…
Coincidence? I don’t know… I’ve never before, or since, felt and seen a being like that…
It matches right up with the tiny fetus growing inside my wife – that we were oblivious to.
The meditation I was doing was Vipassana type, focusing on the breath. I was advancing very quickly and was into the Jhana levels often.
There are things written in the Pali cannon that tell of a “divine eye” a “divine ear” and other gifts that occur as a result of meditation having made some changes in the mind… and of course I’d have never believed such a thing until it actually happened.
There is another layer to reality that is invisible to most of us – most or all of the time. I think there are those that can see it – like I did. I don’t say – “That’s BS!” too often when it comes to Buddhists insisting that a monk gave them winning numbers for the lottery, or seeing their past lives. I think it is probably true.
So, I bought a clay Buddha pendant, and two rocks with carved Buddhas in them at prices that were exactly what I was hoping to pay for them.
I really believe the guy at this temple has a gift of seeing things… I’ll have to go back again before we leave the area.
Do you believe some people have gifts like that?
[Image by Buzz Hoffman at Flickr creative commons]