Wat Paknam Bhasicharoen ( in Thai: วัดปากน้ำภาษีเจริญ) is a Buddhist temple, located in the Phasi Charoen district of metropolitan Bangkok, in Thailand. The temple has a large population of both monks and nuns, with many of them able to speak English. Easily accessible by both road and boat, the temple gratefully welcomes both Thais and foreigners throughout the year to experience Buddhist meditation in a new and constructive way. For these reasons, the temple remains a mainstay for foreign travelers who are seeking to learn more about Buddhist meditation methods propounded by the late abbot Chao Khun Monolthepmuni (1884-1959 ACE [2427-2502 BE]. The great abbot is credited with the rediscovery and advancement of a lost form of meditation that expounds from the Vijja Dhamakaya teachings and traditions, which were lost sometime around five-hundred years after the passing of the Lord Buddha. As a result of his teachings, the rediscovered meditation method has spread throughout the globe in recent decades, with many thousands of followers throughout both the Eastern and Western world. The temple is especially famed for its production of the Wat Pak Nam amulet, which was originally produced by the famed Abbot in the year 1950 (2493 BE). Through the selling of the sacred amulet, the Abbot was able to fund and construct a school on the premises, which teaches meditation methods and the general teachings of the Dhamma.
Like many philosophies and religions, Buddha is pluracentric, with many different methods being taught throughout the World. The origin of Buddhism is India, where the Prince Siddhartha Gautama first brought his teachings to mankind, in his strident desire to help all people achieve Enlightenment and liberation from rebirth.
There are a wide variety of meditation and living methods that help people to reach liberation, but the exact meaning and substance of this liberation is different across the various schools. However, there are always basic principles that are common to all Buddhist philosophies, which are called the “Three Jewels.” They are: The Buddha (who achieved Enlightenment and taught mankind how to achieve it for themselves), the Dharma (which are the teachings themselves), and the Sangha (which is the community of righteous followers who aim to achieve Enlightenment and liberation). These three aspects combine to set a person the path to liberation. In the West, it is often taught that the Buddha teaches “all life is suffering.” Suffering, however, is not the best translation. It would be better to translate this as “grasping.” Mankind grasps at reality, without regard to its temporal nature. The Buddha shows us another way. Rather, it would be better to think about the Buddha as teaching us to “be here now.” This being necessarily requires thoughtful renunciation of materialism and ego. The Buddha outlines the nature of existence by showing us the mindfulness of Buddhist nature, which is exemplified by the Buddha we know, and the many Buddhas who came before and after him.
One of the great realizations of the Buddha, which has also been adopted as relevant to many non-Buddhists, is the idea of Karma. Karma drives the grasping aspect of life, yet also is a vehicle for deliverance. This cycle is called saṃsara, and causes rebirth and “suffering.” The sentient being rejects the pain of suffering and grasping, and therefore fights against Buddhist reality. The manifestation of Karma is a spectrum of good and bad, and cannot be judged without studying intention. Buddhism teaches us to create good Karma through right actions, so that we can be on our way to Enlightenment and liberation. Theories expounded by the Buddha during after his Enlightenment, are the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path. The four noble truths explain the nature of existence, while the Eightfold path teaches us the means of attaining our Buddhahood while living within this existence.