Continuing with our Buddhism series, we welcome Phra Pandit, a Brit who has been a monk in Thailand for the past 20 years and is a noted lecturer on Buddhism, dhamma, and psychology.
Desire – or the lack of it – is one of the key themes that the Buddha taught his followers. But as we find out in this very interesting discussion with Phra Pandit, it’s not as easy as saying “I can do without those cool new pair of shoes.”
Since Evo is off galavanting around Europe, Greg talks to Pandit about what it means to have nothing, how it feels to want nothing, and why having or wanting nothing doesn’t necessarily make you a better Buddhist than someone who has everything. Indeed, Greg poses a question – when someone has more money than they will ever use, things that are valuable to the ‘average’ person – like an iPhone – become almost meaningless. Since this person places no great value in craving the iPhone, or grief when he loses it – is that a similar state of mind as not desiring an iPhone? It’s a great conversation about exactly what desire is – and how wanting something isn’t always a bad thing.
Phra Pandit also gives a shoutout to his friend Marisa Cranfill (a previous guest on the Bangkok Podcast), one of the foremost (non-Thai) experts on Thai spirit houses. She will be giving a seminar later this month about this topic, where you can finally learn the answers to the big questions: why is red Fanta left out more than other drinks? Why do zebras get left so often? Why are some houses supported by one pillar, and others four? Head to www.littlebang.org to read more about Marisa’s speech on Saturday January 28th at the Rojana Center.
And since this episode airs a few days before Chinese New Year, Greg – who lived in Yaowarat, Bangkok’s Chinatown, for 4 years – gives his advice for really getting the most out of a visit to one of Bangkok’s most interesting neighborhoods, and the center of the city’s Chinese New Year celebrations.
And just for an extra visual, here are the incense sticks that Greg talks about. Note the dudes on the bottom left for scale.