Yasodhara newsletter on international buddhist woman's activities 
Vol.19 No.2 (no.74) January-March, B.E. 2546 (2003)



         Jone Jandai, a rural young man in his 30s, started introducing the concept by drawing attention for Thai people to start considering building their own houses... mud houses. Mud house is not a novelty, one third of the world population live in these mud houses since the time of yore. Many people lend ears to what Jone is saying. He explained how the mud house keeps one in touch with the Mother Earth. He started building his own mud house in Yasothorn Province and finished it within 3 months. His mud house keeps him warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
         The idea catches on, and now there are a group of interested foreigners who came from different part of the world voluntarily gave free labor, free muscle strength to build a group of mud houses to create a role model of a new lifestyle where the members are self independent. The local people who are in this program were forced to migrate from their farm land which now is flooded due to the dam project. To build wooden house to follow our Thai traditional lifestyle is not possible as we do not have any wood left. Concrete house would be an answer, but that will entail enormous financial burden that these farmers could not bear. Mud house became their alternative.
        We tagged along Ven.Dhammananda who was invited by the local people to give a talk addressing the issue at the actual site where they are now building mud-house in Chaiyabhum province, five hrs. drive from Bangkok. 
It is not only an alternative in building mud house but more important than the house is building a new way of life, free from consumerism and capitalism.
         Jone pointed out how people work so hard for at least 30 years to pay for the house. But now, he has shown how he built his house within 3 months. Now he can spend some 29 years of his life attending to something more worthwhile and simply enjoy living.
         Building mud-house indeed was one way of expression one's freedom from the enslavement of capitalism. One is free to stand up, shake oneself from the burden of false social values to have beautiful home to compete with others, to mark one's social status, etc.
         This make-belief world has totally brain-washed us to think of nothing else but to consume to the benefit of the few capitalists. Often we are unaware and taken by the strong wave of consumerism which comes under different covers, modernization is one of them.
         We need to listen to our inner voice and discover now before its too late that this life is meant to be lived happily and not to be slave to material world and material grasping only.
          Soft mud under our feet as we stepped on it in a regulated fashion to balance ourselves as well. A large group of people with different shades of skin but we come together with one mind ... to build the mud-house....to get to know our true selves...to buildup our own inner strength.. together.
         
This is the world...
          The world of mud....
          You and I, we all are .....part of this mud.

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