Where Tigers Outnumber Monks
You will witness some extremely rare finds, as we are given access to the only Buddhist temple in the world that has tigers as house-pets, frolicking beautifully on the temple’s forest grounds with no chains and no history of anyone ever being hurt. And don’t let the documentary title fool you, The Tiger and the Monk is actually more like 16 tigers and 12 monks- all of them cohabiting in harmony inside Wat Pa Luangta Bua, a Buddhist monastery of meditation in Thailand which is also fittingly known as “The Tiger Temple of Thailand.”
The Only Temple of Its Kind
The temple wasn’t always this way, in fact it’s quite an unplanned animal sanctuary, stemming from a Buddhist tradition that says if someone tries to kill an animal and it survives, it must be brought to a temple and that is indeed how the very first tiger arrived. Aside from immersing in the stunning visual imagery and landscapes and what daily life is like for a Buddhist monk living in a forest temple teeming with tigers, you will also have the opportunity to explore:
- How the temple has expanded from tigers to also housing and feeding hundreds of other animals including wild boar, cattle, deer, peacocks and more!
- How the monks care for and maintain a harmonious living situation
- Why the monks believe the tigers are their equals and did not come to their temple by chance
- As the monks are forbidden to work for money, how they are able to pay for food and healthcare for 16 tigers and hundreds of other animals!
The Tiger and The Monk is a mesmerizing documentary that offers a beautiful shift in perspective of what everyday life is like in different parts of the world- would you be open to a lifestyle where your only meal of the day is breakfast, your main task is to meditate, to tending not just for your tiger but also to doing deep internal personal work, and essentially have no material possessions? If it doesn’t necessarily sound like the life for you, you can at least delve into it for the documentary as it is captivating and breathtaking to see these peaceful and loving humans strolling casually along the temple grounds with their peaceful and loving 450-pound tigers. It’s my hope that by watching The Tiger and the Monk it will renew or deepen our internal knowingness that we are all one and that the animals of our planet have so much wisdom, guidance and healing medicine to provide to us, if only we are willing to open our hearts and eyes to see.
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