Luang Poh Charoen Parnchand
( 18 March 1929 – 4 January 2008 )
Co-founder and 2nd Abbot of Thamkrabok Monastery
Luang Poh Charoen Parnchand was born in 1929, in the province of Lopburi in Thailand. Since his childhood he had to get used to hard work. The experiences he gained on fishing-boats, in markets and gardens, and as a young entrepreneur in the building-business, were very valuable in his later life. At 20 years of age he was ordained to become a monk.
Between 1971 and 1981 Luang Paw Charoen was “on tudong”, travelling all over Thailand. Like many of the great spiritual teachers in Thailand, he spent most of the time in forests.
Luang Paw Charoen is a very creative man: his is a gifted artist and musician, he invents medicine, and he is a researcher and a scientist. His knowledge of rocks and stones is breathtaking. He calls his garden his “Open University”: there he researches, and there he receives his disciples, monks and laymen of all social classes, coming to ask for advice and teaching.
Generously he gives away his products, he protects people in danger, and, thanks to his extraordinary powers, he keeps Thamkrabok a safe place.
An experiment of Luang Paw Charoen’s is the creation of music on the basis of natural shapes. Cracks in walls, stones or in the soil are copied onto plastic sheets and then transformed into musical notes. These melodies become the raw material for compositions. According to Luang Paw Charoen, Thamkrabok stores sufficient material to generate 16 million 18-bars melodies.
A team of researchers and musicians from Moscow University has created a CD based on Luang Poh Charoen’s material.
Message from Luang Poh Charoen Parnchand
“You are invited to stay at ThamKrabok. There aren’t many rules, and everyone is welcome here. You are invited to join in whatever activities you are capable of, or feel would be of benefit to you. We are available 24 hours a day to help educate people. Tham Krabok is like a university, or marketplace of education.
Whatever you want to know, you can ask, what you suspect, you can confirm, and what you know, you can share.
At Tham Krabok you are in the illumination of Buddha. We do things the same way the Buddha did, everyone here strives for this level of consciousness to help teach themselves, love themselves, and use their abilities to help themselves, instead of taking advantage of, or depending on others.
The feelings of peace and tranquillity produced by the medicine are the results of your actions – what you’ve done while you are here. Which is to say, you have the intention to quit using addictive drugs and follow the way of the vows you have taken.
These feelings will happen to everyone, but they cannot experience, or come into contact with them unless they are serious about the vow. It is like carrying a bag of heavy stones with you at all times, once you have set them down you feel lighter, you feel freedom.
What you have done for yourself while here gives the result of the feelings that you are experiencing.
For addicts who come here, we cannot really do anything to help them very much; we can only provide the environment that allows them to help themselves. When they follow through on their intentions, they help themselves, and move away from the bondage of addictive drugs.
When you first start moving away from your vices it may feel extremely uncomfortable because you have depended on them for so long to help you through times of need. But if you are honest with yourself the so-called help has never done anything except add more weight to the stones you are carrying, and dragging you down.
Addictive drugs are poison. Addicts take them in the hope that they will somehow help them to feel less pain, experience happiness or make their lives better in some way. But in reality all they do is cripple and destroy every part of the addict’s life – piece by piece, until your very nature as a human being is lost: –
1. Your basic goodness and humanity suffers
2. People and friends around you no longer have any importance to you
3. It is nearly impossible to go to school or hold a job
4. And perhaps most importantly, your parents and family suffer tremendously.
You become like a tree that has been hit by lightning…there is nothing left for re-growth.
Here at ThamKrabok we use the benefits derived from the vow to help humanity. The basic tenets of the vow are to stay away from addictive drugs, not to steal or cause harm to others, and to make an effort at self-improvement to move your life forward through education, business, or whatever means that apply to you in your situation. Basically, to become the best person that you are capable of being.
The way of the vow is the most direct way to resolve many problems. There are many different ways to detox from addictive drugs, but as everyone knows, nearly none of these ways has positive results in the long-term.
If you believe in the vow, have patience and persevere, you will win the battle over addictive drugs and regain the life you deserve to be living.
Ultimately the vows are something that help keep your mind and heart in tune – in focus, so that you are capable of helping yourself. If you cannot help yourself then there is no way you can ever help others.
At ThamKrabok we focus on the powers of the heart more than anything else. This brings the rest of the body into harmony with the environment. If you have faith in the vow it empowers your heart and mind to live within a state of truth and hold onto that even when faced with the difficulties of everyday life.
You have the absolute opportunity to stay away from addictive drugs for the rest of your life and do good for yourself and others.
We do not have modern facilities or materials; the strongest medicine we provide here is giving the vows, which allow the healing of the heart. The vows have tremendous strength; strength which will go with you out into the rest of your life if you hold them close to your heart.
If it is damaged or crippled, a doctor or hospital cannot heal your soul. At ThamKrabok we can help you to heal at every level.