Through a Jungian Lens

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Wat Maikatingtong Temple – Keeping it Simple

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Wat Maikatingtong Temple - Jomtien, Pattaya, Thailand

The Wat Maikatingtong Temple is a nondescript small monastery temple alongside Jomtien Beach. Having seen temples all over south-east Asia, China and India, this little temple appeared to offer very little at first. But then, a close look and a chance meeting with one of the monks changed what I thought was there. This temple is not about tourists or a tourist photo destination. This temple is “home” for a contingent of monks who have said “enough” to the world, men who are for the most part broken and have retreated here to save a small part of their souls while waiting to die. Embedded in the wall that surrounds the main temple are small squares set high in the wall, squares which are filled with the ashes of those whose earthly lives are ended, or else empty and waiting for time to bring the gift of ashes to the wall and waiting squares. The squares filled contain images, names, dates of Thai and Farang alike. If nothing else, the lost souls have been captured for a while defying the descent into nothingness with their memorial space and place in the wall surrounding the temple.

I found myself entranced with this small temple and its few buildings including the crematorium. In such a space, images loom out prominently and powerfully. The temple reminded me that each of us, regardless of how insignificant the rest of the world sees us, is a priceless treasure, a story that has its own gold and silver to share in the telling. There is no grandeur, just the plain truth of ordinary lives. As I left, I saw another monk striding purposefully towards his quarters with a cigarette dangling from his fingers. Honesty and fallibility. Even monks are human and conflicted.

In case you are wondering; no, you can’t find the temple in any tourist guide such as Lonely Planet.


Written by Robert G. Longpré

February 3, 2012 at 10:15 am

2 Responses

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  1. Dear Robert,
    Thank you for this Post that allows us to become aware and enter our deeper state.
    Symbols :
    In the middle of the picture of the statue, you can see a nose – beneath the nose you can see two fangs.
    This particular part in the picture is the styled image of Barong the King of the good Spirits, who has a fierce face.
    The opponent of Barong is Rangda the witch and also called the widow.
    In the fight of Barong against Rangda – Rangda is not killed but just disappears.

    Opa Bear

    February 3, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    • Ah, glad that you could see these aspects of Barong who is considered to be a Buddhist Temple protector in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and of course in Bali where he originates in his battle with evil, Rangda. Thank you for bringing this to the discussion.


      February 4, 2012 at 1:50 pm

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