Saffron robes in Nottingham Cathedral

CBCEW » Interreligious Dialogue » » Saffron robes in Nottingham Cathedr...

Ten Buddhist Monks joined interreligious coordinators at a meeting organised by Bishop Patrick McKinney on 11 October at Nottingham Cathedral. The Venerable Abbot Dr Laow Panyasir led his monks through Nottingham and joined the meeting after lunch, as the monks do not eat after 12 noon.

The monks – who were from Thailand, England and Wales – live at Wat Mahatthat Buddist Temple, in King’s Bromley, Staffordshire. They spend their time chanting, meditating and studying Buddhist teachings. They live by 227 rules (novices have 10 rules and lay people five) and go out and collect alms from the Thai community who feed them.

Dr Laow was himself orphaned and brought up in a monastery. At the age of 13, he became a novice and at 20 a monk, which he has been for 43 years. He is a strong believer in education and wants to give back to society by helping people make sense of their lives and understand others.

The coordinators were astounded by the fact that one monk said that he had not been angry for three years. He achieved this by meditating and explained that we should not be led too much by our emotions. He added that being attached to possessions and opinions is rooted in delusion and ignorance – something for us all to ponder.

Once again, the interreligious co-ordinators expressed their gratitude to Bishop Patrick McKinney for organising such a positive encounter.