I arrived in Bangkok shortly after midnight, after a 22-hour flight, with a short stopover in Hong Kong. I was met by an entourage of lovely Thai people, including, Nene, the woman in charge of our visit. I was then driven to the Dammakaya Temple and placed in a lovely condominium owned by a Senator, which will serve as my home for the first few days of my journey.

 

After 3 hours of sleep (5 hours total in two days), I enjoyed a lovely Thai breakfast with Nene, Dr. DeTerra, Dr. Meyerhof, and Brother Ku (Patrick Ku) and discussed plans for the next few days. Following our meal, we were picked up by our driver and support team and given a tour of the temple grounds and a couple of pointers for tomorrow’s big event.

 

The whole event and temple and the wonderful opportunity to be invited as an honored guest really hit home when I reached the temple grounds and truly saw the magnitude of the whole event the first place we went, was the meditation area where I will have a seat of honor. The whole structure is beyond comprehension, and makes the Super bowl look like a backyard football stadium.  It is literally miles long, and can hold a million people!

 

The temple where we will hold the ritual celebration tomorrow, can hold 600,000 people. There’s no question that I’m going where no Pagan has ever gone before, and I am more than humbled by the experience.

 

Next, we went to a place where the local people come to literally feed the Monks and venerable teachers and receive blessings, and I was fed and wonderfully cared for. I also fed some monks myself which was a moving experience. Everyone treated  me with great respect.

 

Following that, the Wise Abbott and Nene arranged for a four-hour Thai massage for me to prepare me physically and spiritually for the next step of my journey. I declined two hours of the massage, as it just seemed too much for me, but was glad for the Abbott’s generous gesture and found the two hours very relaxing.  I left the massage fully ready to participate and between that and deep meditation, and wonderful care, I am now ready to take my place in the center of what I’m sure will be an incredible surge of spiritual energy like none I have ever experienced.

 

Since I have never been in the middle of a group of spiritual leaders and teachers that is so large that the perimeter can’t be seen, I can only try to imagine the force generated.  We will begin at 6:00 AM, with the people coming down from the mountains and countryside’s, to feed us and then progress throughout the day, culminating in a huge candle-lighting ceremony to welcome the rising full moon and the return of the Buddha Spirit. The light from the candles will illuminate the skies and the next three days have been declared a national holiday.

 

Everyone in the celebration for as far as you can see, will wear white, and I will wear a Celtic shirt draped with my Irish family’s green tartan, which was worn by my Great, Great, and Grandmother on the boat to the United States from the Old Country.  I will also wear my silver pentacle with an emerald that I made when I was first initiated, and my first cord.

 

I go to sleep now, filled with the spirit of the Great Mother, offering prayers for peace in the world. And with hopes for a world where even a Pagan, can be treated with the decency and respect that should be accorded to all humankind.

 

Blessings to All,

Patrick McCollum

February 17, 2011