How did i become a Buddhist Monk?
Fear, hate, want and suffering. The four things that led me into learning how to fight. They were also, completely unexpectedly, led me into a Buddhist monastery in Thailand to learn what it takes to become a monk.
Violent, angry, in conflict with myself, my environment and other people, I was living and working in Bangkok as a pro nak muay (Thai kickboxer), and nearing the end of a long but inglorious career as a part-time pugilist. Muay Thai boxing is a savagely competitive professional sport.
Buddhism is a peace loving religious philosophy. Yet, for some inexplicable reason, Muay Thai kickboxing and Theravada Buddhism, go fist-in-glove in the topsy-turvy culture of Thailand.95% of the kingdom’s subjects are Buddhist (the other 5% are Muslim), and going into the reclusive environment of a “wat” (monastery), for a short or long spell, is a rite of passage for men of all ages and social extractions.
Some background is needed at this juncture. Buddhism is one of the oldest religious philosophies in the world, coming to prominence 560 years before Jesus Christ and 1,200 years before the Prophet Muhammad. The Buddha was Siddhartha Gautama, a prince from the Indian-Nepalese border who left court life to become an itinerant wanderer. After years of inward contemplation, he reduced the human condition to “Four Noble Truths.”