Seeds of Peace Vol.28 No.3 Sept.-Dec (2012)

Siam is supposed to be a Buddhist kingdom. Although Buddhism is not legally established as the
national religion, the King is constitutionally a Buddhist and patron of all religions. The majority of
the population also claims to be Buddhist. What does this mean? The Royal Thai Government did
not allow the Dalai Lama or his sister to enter the Buddhist kingdom, which is apparently under
Chinese regional hegemony. Do the majority of Thai Buddhists understand the essential teachings
of Buddha? Do they know how to transform greed into generosity, hatred into loving-kindness
and delusion into wisdom or real understanding—as these seem to be the essence of all schools of
Buddhism? Many Buddhists are devout and learned but do they know how to tackle structural
violence and how to live mindfully in a world dominated by consumerism and the round-the-clock
media advertisements. How about the endless ceremonies on making Buddha images and sacred
amulets which combine superstition with spiritual commercialism ?


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