Jun, 2002

A couple of weeks ago, a friend named Mike who teaches English in Bangkok came up to Northern Thailand to cross into Laos to get a new visa, and I went into Nong Khai and spent the weekend with him. One of the places we went was a temple in Nong Khai (about 120 km from where I live) that has some very large statues depicting stories from Buddhist folklore. In the Bot (the building that houses the main Buddha image) there are a couple of heavy stone Buddha images on the floor in front of where you are supposed to kneel. I've seen these used at other temples but had never been induced to try this myself before. The enclosed photo is of Mike lifting one of the Buddha images.

What you are supposed to do is, silently, ask for something you want, then make a mental declaration that if it will come to pass, the Buddha will be easy to pick up. Then pick it up -if its is very heavy, then it will not come to pass, but if it is easy to lift, then you will get your wish. Then as a test, you can make the opposite declaration - state that if your wish will come to pass that it should be very hard to pick up and if it will not come to pass, it will be be easy to pick up.

So, feeling a little foolish, because I don't' believe in this stuff, I tried it. I made a wish that I think is typical of those made in that Bot, having to do with money, and declaring that if it is to come to pass that it would be easy to pick up the Buddha image. Yes, it was not very heavy. Then I declared that if it would not come to pass, that it would be very heavy, and darned if it didn't' feel about twice as heavy as before. So I switched it around and I'll be darned if it didn't' feel very heavy again then light, as if my wish was to come true.

"Hey, Mike...give this a try." Mike felt as foolish as I did, but he's a good sport and he made his request and did the lifting. He didn't really believe it, so he tested it the same way I did, which was by declaring the opposite set of conditions, and darned if the image seemed a lot heavier in one instance than in the other.

I don't believe there is really any more to this than our own minds at work, but the difference in weight was distinctive and if I had not had my eyes open all the time I would have though someone switched images on me.

I put Mike on the overnight train to Bangkok on Saturday night. Sunday evening, he got his wish -a young lady gave him her telephone number. Now I'm waiting for someone to deposit a large sum in my ATM account, then I'll start to believe myself.

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