A Bangkok State of Mind
Most of us in the United States were brought up thinking that a religious or spiritual way of life is something to be practiced on Sundays at church or Friday evenings at sundown with the family.
But much of the world does not work this way. Many other cultures incorporate a spiritual practice into their daily lives.
While I was in Bangkok earlier this year, I witnessed this firsthand.
I awoke very early in the morning on my first day there. Excited to be back in Asia and eager to wander the streets before the traffic and heat consumed the city, I took a long walk in the Sukhumvit neighborhood. Along the way, I observed vendors setting up for the day, carefully laying out fragrant necklaces of marigolds and roses (which would later be purchased and placed on public altars) and Thais of all ages taking a moment to begin their day in prayer. Often, they would hop out of a waiting taxi, say their prayers and then jump back into the taxi to make their way to work or elsewhere to start their day.
Religion permeates every aspect of their daily lives, including their fast food…
A vendor has flowers ready for purchase near an altar.
Monks are a common site throughout the city, these monks had just been ordained.
This man was among the first to say his prayers at what is one of the city’s most popular altars.
With the incredibly busy lives we all seem to be leading these days, it’s not a bad idea to take a moment out of your work day to give thanks, in whatever way that has meaning for you.
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