Tuesday, October 15, 2013


This blog, "Winning", has nothing to do with Charlie Sheen or any of his ill conceived and poorly executed rants regarding winning or what he considered to be winning.

Today was the forest Monk's birthday.

Tomorrow is Lottery Day here in Thailand.

So what does this all have to do with winning.  It has everything to do with it all.

The forest Monk has a reputation for helping people win the lottery.  He gave a number to Duang earlier this month and she won 10,000 Baht ($330 USD).  That's pretty darn good for her and me.  But like they scream during late night television ads in America "BUT WAIT, THERE IS MORE!"  There was a woman who has bought the floral offerings every time that we have visited the forest Monk.  She played the numbers that he divined for her and she won 30,000,000 Baht ($1,000,000 USD)  "BUT WAIT THERE IS EVEN MORE!" We met a man that the forest Monk had given numbers to and he won 9,000,000 Baht or $300,000 US Dollars. And "THERE IS STILL MORE ..." Another man had used the Monk's numbers and won 6,000,000 Baht ($200,000 USD).

So it would seem that the Forest Monk has a well deserved reputation.

On the day before the lottery drawing many people would visit the Monk and offer him food as well as make merit. After eating his one meal of the day, the Monk is always available for consultation.  However on the day before the lottery, he has more consulting to do than typical.

Here in Thailand and especially in Isaan playing the lottery is a big event and even a sort of ritual.  Many hope to significantly change their life by hitting it big.

The ancient Greeks used to make a pilgrimage to consult with the Oracle of Delphi.  In Europe and America people sometimes consult with Gypsy fortunetellers regarding lottery numbers.  In other cultures the entrails of freshly killed animals, typically chickens, are interpreted to determine what the future holds.  I have heard of the future being ascertained through interpreting the pattern of bone randomly tossed on the ground.  Tea leaves are also believed to for tell the future.  As a old friend of mine commented on one of my photographs this evening "It's a sign".

Yes, there are a great number of signs - you just have to look and listen for them.

Here in Thailand there are many signs associated with picking lottery numbers - your house number, your telephone number, your birth date, your wife's birth date, your children's birth dates along with your vehicle registration number or perhaps the registration number of the motorbike that cut you off today or the car that almost collided with you.  These are all signs - good signs for picking lottery numbers.

Our grandson. Peelawat, when he was first beginning to talk kept babbling a number one afternoon - it turned out to be the winning number in the next day's lottery.  People really started to listen to his babbling.  Sure enough he started repeating a number or what seemed to be a number just before the next lottery.  Many people played his number.  They were then upset with him when the number didn't win!  This is not an isolated incident either.

Well today, I found out that it is not necessary to travel to Greece to consult with the Oracle of Delphi regarding the lottery.  You only need to have a frog cross your path.

Massaging A Frog's Belly
After the merit making, when people were socializing and awaiting their turn to consult with the forest Monk. a frog was discovered near the shrine to the right of where the Monk was seated.  This was another good sign - "right" has a great deal of significance in Buddhism - the right shoulder of Monks is left exposed when they wear two of their three layers of clothing, when a funeral procession circumambulates the Wat crematorium they travel clockwise so that their right shoulders are closest to the crematorium, in the seated position Buddha's right foot and his right hand are on top - this was apparently no ordinary frog.  It seems that the frog knew the right way to appear.

One of the men grabbed the frog and placed the frog on it's back in his hand. The man was quickly surrounded by other people - excited people.  He gently started to massage the frog's belly.

Examining Frog's Belly For Signs of Numbers
The people were gentle with the frog but just as people have reported being examined by extraterrestial aliens, I am sure the experience was not all that pleasant for the frog.  Just like I would most likely do during an examination by aliens, the frog urinated on the examiners.  No one seemed upset or taken aback by the frog relieving itself - perhaps the peeing was another sign?

I did not see any numbers on the frog's belly.  According to my wife some people can see the numbers but not all people,  Apparently according to Duang different people can see different numbers on the same frog.  I did not see any numbers but I heard numbers.  I swear that the frog was croaking "hok hok" ("66").  I told Duang and she told the people. They all laughed like crazy.

After about five minutes the frog was gently released to go about his business for the day. Duang did not participate in the examination of the frog.  She had her own numbers already.  During her special merit making last week the forest Monk had given her a sealed envelope and told her not to open it until 8:22 P.M. tonight - 15 October.  She has opened it now and has the two numbers - and even I understand the sign of the two numbers.

Tomorrow morning she will play those two numbers for the afternoon lottery drawing.

So, many of us have a plan for winning and often will rely upon signs to help us to execute that plan.  Unlike all the plans that I executed during my engineering/construction career, the plans I am familiar with now are much more entertaining and interesting - to say the least.

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