Sofa Enlightenment

by Robert Broughton

Table of contents

#10 – Temptations in Thailand

The next stop is a large and respected temple in Bangkok. He becomes a monk, together with many other monks from Western countries, in a much more worldly monastery. After a while the abbot instructs the narrator and Brian to start teaching visiting Western tourists about Buddhism. The two men soon attain "rock star monk" status, and many of the young women they teach fall in love with them. Their vow of celibacy is severely tested.

The abbot of the monastery on the island of Ko Samui, a popular tourist destination for Western hippies, invites the narrator and Brian to carry out a ten-day Buddhist retreat. During the retreat, the narrator awakens to the truth that, for him, a monastery is "a nice place to hide" from the outside world. When Denise, a former rock groupie, falls in love with him he leaves the monastery for her. But this relationship quickly turns sour, leaving the narrator feeling extremely confused. Then his money runs out, and he decides to return to Australia.

Next chapter