‘Make friends with money energy!’ finally resolved my issues with filthy lucre, from the childhood program ‘We don’t discuss money. So vulgar,’ to the grown-up riches-and-success program that had me chasing after it in a constant race to make it faster than I could spend it. Which, admittedly, had provided the wherewithal to take a few years out and indulge myself in traveling the world and meeting cool people such as the one I was talking with now.
He said, ‘In the presence of a great healer everyone feels good.’ And I did. For the first time I felt relaxed about money and as a result found myself free from my budget. I was able to follow him to the States, pay for all the training there and in subsequent years and, indeed, to make my living doing what I love ever since. Meanwhile, listening to wonderful stories of how he started in the Tao, I heard how, raised as a Christian, at the age of six he went on a school trip to a local Buddhist monastery.
Buddhism is the offical religion in Thailand so to a pastor’s son growing up in a Baptist household, passing shrines and temples everywhere would have been at least intriguing, not to mention the begging monks swarming the streets like yellow lice. Men in Thailand have to do six months in a monastery at some point in their lives. I guess members of other religions were exempt as we never heard Mantak mention monking other than to disparage. (The monk I had been traveling with in the North had, at twentyseven, interrupted a career as a carpenter to perform this religious service but, disillusioned with monastic life which, he said, consisted of chanting prayers and watching TV, quit to become a hermit living in a cave behind a waterfall.)
Meanwhile, our time in Pattaya drawing to a close, we students were getting excited about a planned boat picnic Mantak and Maneewan had organised for us.
Next week – The End of the War
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