There is absolute religious freedom in Thailand. Over 90% of the population follows Theravada Buddhism. Hinduism, Animism, Ancestor Worship and other beliefs are embraced by the rest of the population and are often intertwined with Buddhism practices.
The Buddha was a real historical figure: Prince Siddhartha renounced his title and wealth to find a way to escape human ‘sufferings’. Through meditation, He attained ‘Enlightenment.’ Buddha is not a God but He epitomizes good thoughts, words and deeds, guiding people who aspire to be good.
Buddhism plays an important role in daily life. Monks are highly respected. They are customarily invited to bless a new home, business or even car. Many Thai people go to the wat on Buddhist days to pay homage to The Buddha and give alms to monks in order to make merit for their future lives on earth.
Meditation is a means of self-reflection in order to identify the causes of desire and suffering, so that they can be understood and overcome. Visitors can learn the fundamentals of Buddhist practice at a number of wats across the kingdom. This can be your most enriching experience, but remember that temples are sacred … please only consider this if you seriously wish to learn and improve yourself !