Thailand Monks Conquer Drug Addiction with Muay Thai and Meditation
In Thailand Buddhist monks are fighting drug and alcohol addiction very differently than we do here in the states- with one of the most effective martial arts to date: Muay Thai. Coupled with venerable martial art traditions, those seeking to escape their lives of addiction turn to meditation to find inner peace and solace.
The monks of Thailand aren’t just helping those who are seeking to shed the skin of their addictions, but young children growing up in homes ravaged by addiction. Jugated with horseback riding among other holistic approaches to coping with undue stress, anxieties, depression, and earthly hunger, these monks have made a measurable difference in the lives of the children left to fend for themselves, while their parents struggle with untreated substance use disorders.
According to Yahoo News heroin and opium have fallen out of favor in Thailand, in response to the presence of methamphetamine.
Yahoo quotes one of the young boys, Pongsakorn Mayer, who seek comfort from the monks,
“I barely had food to eat because my dad was a drug addict and didn’t work,”
Many of the children whose lives were riddled by addiction early on believe the presence of drugs (and subsequent drug use) are normal. The Temple of the Golden Horse is helping them experience life without the tethers of addiction; with the introduction of structured martial arts and the act of caring for therapy horses, the children gain a much needed structure to their everyday lives, and are all the better for it in the long run.
Those who grow up in the Temple of the Golden Horse take their teaching back to their home villages, attempting to impact the balance booned to them. The villages dimpled with the dredges of addiction receive little government aid; as a result, many of the people living in the dejected villages make a living from selling “yaba” (the term given to methamphetamine).
The communities not afflicted by the hand of addiction celebrate what the monks are doing for the children- of which, some are orphaned as a direct result of their parents’ addictions. Including training in the martial arts, meditation, and working hand in hand with horses, the children learn how to care for the fields and cultivate the many crops of the temple, which are shared with the residents.
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About the Author
Alexandrea Holder is a South Florida native working toward double Master’s degrees in Psychology and English. She finds the psychological aspects of addiction and mental illness fascinating, as both are prevalent in her family’s history. When not researching and spreading addiction awareness, Alexandrea enjoys sparring, artistic pursuits, and admiring puppies online.