Saturday, February 25, 2012

More Bangkok

Thailand is a country filled with Buddhist Wats.  Like churches in Europe, once you've seen a few you begin to focus on other sights unless you travel there specifically to meditate and learn about Buddhism.  This is Wat Pho and is large by Wat standards.  Most all Wats are enclosed by walls and are rather serene places in the midst of chaos.  One can often hear chanting in various temples  within the walls and visitors are welcome to enter and sit with monks.  At certain times monks will receive and bless members of the congregation.

There are several temples inside the wat and all have some kind of golden Buddha shrine where there are always chanting or meditating disciples on the floor.  One never sits with legs outstretched because facing the soles of your feet toward the Buddha is an insult.  Likewise one would never touch the top of another persons head because that is where the spirit resides.
The walls inside the confines of the famous "Reclining Buddha" are painted with historical representations of religious life which very few notice because the big attraction is where visitors attention is.

The Reclining Buddha is really huge and is confined in a cramped building making it difficult to get a good full-sized photo.  I've never seen so much gold leaf!

The grounds inside the wat are pleasantly landscaped with small gardens, waterfalls, small ponds, and inspired sculpture depicting deities. 

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