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BN: Laughing. We may be getting some goats soon. You know the economics of this? They milk the goats. The female goats give birth to billy goats, but there is no use for the billy goats. So after 40 days, they kill the male goat to eat. So we are going to adopt a male goat. And see from there if we can add more. We do eat seafood here, but I'd like the monastery to become completely vegetarian. We still follow the practice of not eating after noon.

BN: Yes. And this can be problematic. You know the precepts were taught 2500 years ago and are usually applied individual to individual. But how about society? And government? We need to understand the precepts from a societal and organizational perspective as well. When you are, for example, in an institution, government, corporation, the way you relate to others is so vital. Does the institution relate according to the ethical precepts? Society cannot be harmonious without ethics. Governments cannot simply control others; corporations cannot only maximize profits. So we need to apply the precepts to this context of the larger society.

BN: The word Buddha can mean knowing, knowing something. The five skandas may be the object of meditation (and we come to see their impermanent and dependent characteristics) and there is the awareness of them. Yet still the awareness is part of the characteristics of phenomena. I agree. I don't think that awareness can be truly separated from the characteristics of phenomena. Of course awareness is fundamental and essential to mindfulness.

The Great Buddha of Thailand is another colossal statue constructed in honor of Gautama Buddha. Standing 92 meters (300 feet) high and 63 meters (210 feet) wide, it was constructed in 1990 and was finished in 2008. Located in Wat Muang, Aung Thong, Thailand, it is made from concrete cement and finished with gold.

theravada means "Doctrine of the Elders". It's the oldest of the surviving schools of Buddhism. It represents a conservative option and it maintains many of the practices and beliefs of the early followers of the Buddha.

MZC: Did you go to Burma? What was your impression of the monks there? As a visitor, I can feel a sense of tranquility here in the monastery; I see that people are practicing sitting and walking meditation. There's a tangible quality one can feel when people come together to focus on understanding themselves with openness, with a sense of freshness.

Does the seller of the amulets sell hype or does it appear that the seller is just listing the amulets so others might share in their beauty by purchasing them? Thai amulet sellers are often times in the business for a couple of simple and heartfelt reasons. The first reason is - they are Buddhist and want to share the amulets with other Buddhists all over the world. The amulets are not high priced - over $100 USD, and there are not outrageous claims about the magical powers of the amulets.