We were invited to come to the bi-annual Amazing Thailand festival down by Guildford and I was sent to represent! What a wonderful event it was! On arrival at 10am I was rushed in to go on alms round and found that the Forest Sangha of Chithurst Monastery was already there just finishing. It was lovely to see them but they made their was back to their temple quickly to be there for their daily visitors. I enjoyed having a meal with Tan Jao Khun Suwit and Tan Boat who are visiting from Thailand, and with monks from Wat Pah Desarangsee, the temple in Bournemouth.
There were marquees set up for us where for the rest of the day we stayed talking with people and sharing blessings. I had the opportunity to meet many "western" people who were interested in Buddhism in some way. They either already were interested and had questions for me or were from families of mixed Thai-Western couples and wanted to learn more. Many Thai people were also interested in my story about how I became a monk. Everyone appreciated sharing those moments together and some people had tears in their eyes as I gave them a blessing. This was very moving for me and again showed how alive our tradition really is. It may be ancient and very special because of that, but I am also learning that it is modern and as relevant in our lives today as it was in the Buddha's 2500 years ago.