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We’re super happy to welcome back a popular guest from season 1 of the Bangkok Podcast – our veritable friend Phra Pandit. As a long-time monk in Thailand and noted lecturer on dhamma, Buddhism, meditation, and deep thought, Pandit is a great source if insight and information.
On this show we (well, Greg, as Evo is traveling) will talk with Pandit about what happens when a particular Buddhist temple becomes really big. So big, in fact, that the government wants to shut it down. In this case it’s the Dhammakaya temple, which has millions of devotees all over Thailand and is led by a rather controversial monk. As of the date of this post, police have been camped outside the temple for several weeks as deadline after deadline for the surrender of the head monk have come and gone and nothing’s happened. It’s kind of like the world’s most boring standoff…but something’s got to give eventually.
Pandit gets into some details on the political machinations behind the target on the temple’s back, as well as why the stakes are so high for the temple’s head abbot, the magic ingredient that lets a temple go from being popular to a nationwide social phenomenon – and just how many people does Dhammakaya’s ‘flying saucer’ meditation area hold, anyway? (Hint: a lot. Check out the picture of the saucer area below).