Sunday I attended a Buddhist ceremony at one of the temples in Charlotte, NC, quiet a bit drive from our house. This ceremony is called Bung Sa Goun, which is a memorial service ceremony in remembrance of the passed loved one and in this ceremony, two families held the ceremony together, one family was for their father, and his son and daughter in-law, and another family was for their uncle.
What is unique about this ceremony is that there are four beds (one for each deceased person) that are called Gong Bung and on them contain items that we want our passed loved ones to have in their afterlife. The Buddhist believe that in the spiritual world, our passed loved ones still use these items, we want them to have the necessities of the daily life convenient such as pillow, blanket, plates and bowls, and other items. As for item of personal clothing article, many would also offer this, but ask to get it back by offering donation called Busar, and the monetary amount offered is up to the offered because there is no set amount.
Meal is also offered to the deceased, this is called Pra Kao Thip.
I’ve been working hard in my garden, but my trees don’t look anything like this, might be because I water my trees with water (Nom in Lao language), but I do wish that I have a money tree at home. The money tree here is called Tonh Ga La Pirk, this would give friends and families the opportunity to Tum Boun (merit making) with the host families, offering their money by hanging it on the tree, this tree is obviously watered with Nom Jai, water that came from the heart (Jai). The money is then donated to the temple.