Wat Sothorn

   
   I was brought here because khun meh had made offerings here so that we could get a house. Well, it worked. We need to come back and make a donation of five hundred eggs, but in the meantime, we got incense and oils. The oil I poured into a lantern for the health of a family member who is suddenly and frighteningly ill. The incense was lit at the lantern and small pieces of paper used to tie the three sticks of incense together. Those papers were used to wipe Buddhas coveted in gold flake. As pieces were picked up by the paper, you returned it by wiping them onto a different statue of Buddha. Later, we paid for eight dancers to do a dance, which, like the other actions, is considered a merit making activity, similar to lighting a candle or making a confession or reciting a rosary. I did a little bit, but then got uncomfortable. I was a tourist and didn’t want to disrespect deeply held beliefs by engaging in too much spiritual tourism, backed by respect but not by belief; just as a visitor to my church can partially participate, but the Eucharist and the sacraments are only for confirmed believers.

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