Rescued Thai soccer team boys ordained as novice Buddhist monks

 
hannahtoo
 
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hannahtoo
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26 July 2018 05:31
 

https://www.npr.org/2018/07/25/632486541/thai-cave-boys-ordained-as-buddhist-novices

Praphun Khomjoi, chief of the regional branch of the National Office of Buddhism, told The Associated Press that the boys had entered the monkhood in memory of the Saman Kunan, a former Thai navy SEAL who died in the effort to rescue the boys.

“The teachings that we would like to the boys to learn is the awareness of themselves and the importance of their lives,” Praphun said. “It is extraordinary to be born as humans. And as we are given this opportunity, we should use Buddhist principles or principles of any religions as guidance for living. That’s the lesson that we want them to learn.”

Apparently, this is a rite of passage, not a permanent commitment to live as monks.

Comments?

 
Jan_CAN
 
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Jan_CAN
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26 July 2018 06:17
 
hannahtoo - 26 July 2018 05:31 AM

https://www.npr.org/2018/07/25/632486541/thai-cave-boys-ordained-as-buddhist-novices

Praphun Khomjoi, chief of the regional branch of the National Office of Buddhism, told The Associated Press that the boys had entered the monkhood in memory of the Saman Kunan, a former Thai navy SEAL who died in the effort to rescue the boys.

“The teachings that we would like to the boys to learn is the awareness of themselves and the importance of their lives,” Praphun said. “It is extraordinary to be born as humans. And as we are given this opportunity, we should use Buddhist principles or principles of any religions as guidance for living. That’s the lesson that we want them to learn.”

Apparently, this is a rite of passage, not a permanent commitment to live as monks.

Comments?

It appears that this is something the boys want to do and that it is appropriate in their culture.  I think this may help them in dealing with what they’ve been through and that it is likely healthy for them to be able to honour Saman Kunan and show their gratitude for his sacrifice; I think this may also help Kunan’s family to heal.

 
 
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26 July 2018 06:56
 

I think it highlights the value of rituals to satisfy social/emotional needs.  Religion evolved to fill this niche.

 
Cheshire Cat
 
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26 July 2018 10:12
 

I’m sure that part of the reason these are boys going into a monastery is cultural and a rite of passage, but there’s possibly more to it in this case.

The soccer coach who led the boys into the cave, Ekapol Chanthawong, had trained in meditation for a decade as a Buddhist monk before becoming a soccer coach.

When Ekapol realized they were all trapped in the cave, he taught the boys how to meditate.

The divers who found the boys were amazed by how calm they were considering the ordeal they were going through. This must have been due to the meditation.

Perhaps the boys have realized the value of meditation because of this experience, and wish to pursue a deeper understanding of the Buddhist principles that underlie the practice also?

 
 
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hannahtoo
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26 July 2018 10:18
 

That’s really interesting info.  I just wish the coach had known more about practical cave safety, sigh.

 
Jan_CAN
 
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26 July 2018 11:09
 
hannahtoo - 26 July 2018 10:18 AM

... I just wish the coach had known more about practical cave safety, sigh.

It may be that the flooding of the cave at that time of year was not expected; in any case, the coach (Ekapol Chanthawong) did everything possible for the boys and will have to live with what happened.

I was impressed that soon after Saman Kunan’s death, his widow asked that no one blame themselves.  (I think it quite likely that, if this had happened in the west, there would have been more talk of blame, which would have served no useful purpose and could only cause pain.)  It seems to me that there’s much to admire about the Thai people.

As to what CC said:  “Perhaps the boys have realized the value of meditation because of this experience, and wish to pursue a deeper understanding of the Buddhist principles that underlie the practice also?”  I agree this might be a factor too.

 

 
 
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26 July 2018 16:18
 

I think special forces soldiers, the world over, have a willingness to make sacrifices.  They have committed themselves to the most difficult and dangerous missions.  And their spouses understand that too.

Also, since he was Buddhist, his family may believe that he will be reincarnated, now a step closer to enlightenment.