pilgrimage for environment,
& "social space"
A somewhat different style of Dhamma walk organized
Phra Sekhiyadhamma friends in Lopburi province (central Siam).
Rather than circle the Lake again this year, we will be walking along the Utapao River from the hills & woods of Sadao near the Malaysian border through Had Yai, the South's largest city & worst polluter, down to the Lake.
An intrepid band of Buddhists, lead by monks from the Phra Sekhiyadhamma network, circumambulated Thailand's only lake for a period of three weeks during the middle of the 1996 hot season. For details click above. Just added ... some images from the past.
For more information on the Lake and the plans for the second walk (successfully completed in April & May '97) click above. Although this walk is over, the information is for the most part still relevant.
We got our inspiration from the Peace Walks lead by Venerable Mahaghosananda in Cambodia. These wonderful walks have braved landmines, the Khmer Rouge, corrupt government, and, like us, very hot weather. They began in 1990 and this year was the 8th walk.
Yatra means to walk, so Dhamma-yatra is a Dhamma Walk or March. We recall when the Lord Buddha sent out his first 60 fully awakened disciples to "Proclaim the Dhamma for the well-being, for the good of the Manyfolk."
The Dhamma cannot be cooped up in the Temple, especially when the people are suffering, although hierarchies and elites may want it so. Genuine servants of the Buddha serve the Dhamma through the needs of everyone, not just those in power. By going to the people, we learn more of their realities. We learn not just through information, but through "immersion," through the heart. One local environmentalist and professor who has worked for the Lake's preservation for many years observed "the depth of my feeling and understanding for the Lake and the communities around it doubled through walking these last few days."
There are many reasons:
because there is too much suffering, including structural forms, going on today.
because Songkhla Lake & the Communities around it are being murdered in the name of "Development" and "The Economy."
because changes in Thai society have marginalized the Wat and its role as a leading cultural & moral voice.
because the people need their own forums to speak their minds & hearts, to work out the course of their lives free of the dictates of the rich & powerful.
because the Truth cannot be silenced.
because change is inevitable and we have the responsibility to influence it in healthy, sane, peaceful directions.
Please see related pages (above) for more details.
If you have any questions about Dhamma Yatra, past or present, please contact us at
or email the Dhamma-Yatra office:
c/o The Coordinating Committee for Southern NGO’s
2/44 Soi Ratuthit 22, Tambol Kawhong,
Amphur Haad Yai,
tel: (66-74) 230685, 239594 ... fax: (66-74) 230592