Formerly Brahmavihara Cambodia AIDS Project

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Keo Samedy:
Keo Samedy died at the Wat Opot Partners in Compassion project in September 2006. He lived there for over two years after his family could no longer take care of him. The first photo was taken last year. The rest were taken as he lay dying. Beth sat with him, chanted for him, gave him Eight Precepts, and did Reiki and Healing Touch practices for the dying. The cloth over his face, written and placed by one of the wat's monks, says "suffering," "impermanence," and "not self," the three characteristics of existence according to the Buddha's teachings.


 

Funeral at Wat Preah Bhut:
Wat Preah Bhut is where destitutes from Phnom Penh are cremated, normally without ceremony of any sort. Whenever possible we accompany our patients to the wat and do services there. We chant, give the Eight Precepts, are present at the cremation and provide a small amount of money, candles and incense for the family. These photos are of a seven-year-old boy, who died suddenly. His mother, pictured with her own mother, is also our patient. The final few pictures were taken later at Wat Roussey Keo, where the achar (official) is chanting and placing the bones in the urn, as is customary seven days after death. This achar is the father of one of our patients, who died in 2002.

 



 






The four Brahmavihara (dwelling places of the Brahma or boundless virtues) are lovingkindness, compassion, shared joyousness and equanimity.
All photographs, except where otherwise noted, Bennett Stevens 2005/2006. Used with gratitude.