There was a rather convivial lunch-party atmosphere when we arrived at the monastery outside Bangkok where Francis Beresford, a doctor and long-time practitioner of samatha meditation from Manchester, was about to take his ordination.
On 4 April, 2001, three representatives of the Samatha Association arrived at the Rama IX Arts Studio on the southern outskirts of Bangkok to witness the casting of the head, body and base of the Buddha Rupa to beinstalled at Greenstreete in June. The feeling was calm but expectant as we strolled around the huge workshop behind the studio where the clay Rupa had been lovingly crafted. There was an atmosphere of surreal grandeur: fragments of ancient kings, queens and saints, half-finished drawings, bits of old castings- all were to be seen, juxtaposed in disarray.
The experiences of Vijay Khuttan who decided to take up temporary ordination as a Theravada monk in Thailand about three months. His story has been taken, with the author's permission, from an interview which first appeared in the Dhamma Times.
We did not know what to expect. We just knew not to have any expectations.