The story of the tattooed monk continues this day, 8th Dec 2013 at Wat Buddhaguna, 65 Duku Road (429229). The Venerable Mahaviro presided over the ceremony which started at about 10.00am. Hendrick seemed rather relaxed at first, chatting and joking with relatives and friends from his meditation group. He was dressed in white and so were his parents. After his head was shaved, the ceremony took on a bit of solemnity. He walked around the wat, accompanied by his family members while the rest of us sat in the viharn.
He then entered the viharn and the ceremony went into full swing. Hendrick was instructed to seek forgiveness from his parents. That done, he proceeded to put on his saffron robes. Master Mahaviro addressed the well-wishers and in spite of the nature of the event, he was relaxed and humourous. I especially like the part he trivialised loneliness and mentioned about going through life and dying alone.
The ceremony ended with the well-wishers paying respects and giving our offerings to the newly-ordained Dhammakamo who declared Hendrick Phua “dead” in his Facebook status update. He was also given a Chinese name – 传法 Chuan Fa which, in Dhammakamo’s own words, means to propagate the Dhamma.
I have captured most of the ceremony in the following video. One important scene not captured is that of our vegetarian lunch prepared by none other than Master Mahaviro himself. We are so honoured.
After all these years visiting Thailand, this is the first time I’ve attended the ordination of a Thai monk. Dhammakamo will be leaving for a Thai temple near Hat Yai in January (his former temple). Over lunch, he introduced me to Raymond, the fengshui master who suggested he tried out being a monk for a month in Hat Yai. After talking to Raymond, I found out that he is a treasure chest of bizarre and interesting stories. Watch out for more from Dewdrop Publications.