We are in Bangkok, in the Amulet Market, a place where charms are for sale.
Thai culture includes belief in the value of amulets that can bring good luck.
Many of these amulets are not actually “for sale” because it is not proper to “buy” an image of the Buddha — Buddha amulets are “rented.”
I watch a man inspect an amulet with a magnifying glass. Some people collect amulets and certain ones are very valuable.
Do you believe that an amulet can bring you good luck?
I see a poster — I think this is an advertisement. Some buyers have a catalogue showing which amulets are valuable.
I plan to buy three amulets: one to give to my friend Carl in Kyoto, one to place on my future altar, and one for you.
Amulets can help you achieve your goals — love, family, career, business, spirituality. Suppose you are seeking a lover, spouse, child, long life, good health, financial success, good luck? You can get these things — the amulet can do that.
The buyer is inspecting the amulets. He seeks profit — one that is valuable.
I am looking for magic. If done in the right way, magic occurs.
I am doing this correctly — I am on a pilgrimage. I have walked the entire Caminho Portugues from Lisbon to Santiago, Spain. I have visited the relics of all 12 apostles and walked in the footsteps of Jesus. I have visited the sacred Muslim relics in Istanbul. I have asked nothing for myself but am working this magic for you.
A monk is purchasing amulets for the novices in his monastery.
Why would one amulet work and another not? Some people suggest that it is a matter of faith — the person who believes get benefits. Here is what I say: belief is a factor — but true magic does not require belief. True magic overwhelms skepticism.
I find an amulet for Carl. I find one for my altar. Now I am looking for one for you.
The young monks are also looking at amulets. Some amulets are passed down from father to son or grandfather to grandson — but these amulets wait to be found by someone.
When I see you face to face, I will give you your amulet. Until then, the image will bring you luck. You do not need to hold it in your hand — merely looking at the image has power.
Here are the three amulets — for Carl, me, and you.
This is the one for you.
[a note for spiritual seekers: the Buddha never suggested that he would grant wishes to supplicants. He never mentioned honoring his image. He said everyone must find their own enlightenment — their own inner truth.
Look at your amulet. It shows a person meditating. This is the message.
The magic will unfold. You have looked at the image — but ultimately the spiritual path is what counts. If you follow your inner path, your brow will unwrinkle, your face will become calm. When the future lover, spouse, child, boss, powerful one with money — whoever — sees you, they will want to be with you and your wish will be fulfilled. Or perhaps you will realize that your wish is merely a desire — not so important — and you will let it go.]