Buddhist Renovation Ceremonial Blessing at Dash Teak House

Tham Boon Keen Baan Mai at Dash Teak House in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Tham Boon Keen Baan Mai at Dash Teak House in Chiang Mai, Thailand

A few months ago I was invited to a “Tham Boon Keen Baan Mai” or a type of housewarming for some friends who were expanding their business; the superb “Dash Teak House” restaurant in Chiang Mai, Thailand. In the Buddhist tradition no one is allowed to use the new expansion until the ceremony is performed. Three monks clad in saffron robes and an elder from a local temple were invited to perform the ceremony.

Monks Holding the Sai Sin String

Monks Chanting and Holding the Sai Sin String

The area where the service was performed was filled with candles, colorful ribbons, flowers and other offerings. Incense were burned and a long white string called a “sai sin”, that symbolically connects everything together, was tied all around the area and into each new room. We all sat together in the sala while the monks chanted, read ancient Pali scriptures, and blessed the area to rid it of bad luck, bad spirits and to apologize to any spirits that were disturbed during the renovation. The eldest monk dipped flowers into begging bowls filled with lustral (holy) water and used them to sprinkle blessings over the space and the participants.

Elder Monk Giving a Water Blessing

Elder Monk Giving a Water Blessing

I understood very little of what was going on, and I am sure I have muddled up some of the details, but it was beautiful and gave a feeling of interconnectedness and community with everyone there. Afterward there was a delicious feast of delicious Thai and Issan food and everyone sat around and basked in the afterglow. It was truly an honor to be invited to such a special event.

It Wasn't All Serious and Somber

It Wasn’t All Serious and Somber

At the end of the ceremony the “sai sin" string was cut into bracelets to bring blessings to the participants.

At the end of the ceremony the “sai sin” string was cut into bracelets to bring blessings to the participants.

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Author: Jonathan Look

In 2011 Jonathan Look decided to change his life and pursue adventures instead of comfort and possessions. His goal is to travel the world solo; one country at a time, one year at a time. To accomplish this he got rid of most of his possessions, packed up what little he saw as necessities and headed out. His goal is to spend ten years discovering new places, meeting new people and taking the time to learn about them, their values and their place on this tiny planet. He embraces the philosophy that says a person is the sum of their experiences and rejects the fraud of modern consumerism that makes people into slaves of their consumption. He doesn’t intend to be modern day ascetic, just more mindful of his place in the world and to make decisions according to that new standard.

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