Maechee Phaphon Kittithavornsri


Born in 1960, Maechee Phaphon was adopted by rice farmers: Pau Gon and Mae Boon Pimsaen and raised in Chonburi province, Thailand. She attended school to grade 4 primary school. She was a bright and clever girl and was able to protect herself from being sold into prostitution. She was fortunate. She worked diligently and became a seamstress. She married; bore three children, one girl and two boys. Her daughter was her shining star, and graduated with a B.S. from Mahidol University in Nursing and worked at Sirirat Hospital, Thailand’s leading hospital. Her two sons both married and work in accounting.

Fifty-seven days before her daughter was to wed, she died from a cerebral aneurism at the mere age of 27. At first Maechee Phaphon thought, “My life has nothing left now. I only want to die and follow my daughter.” She received encouragement from her two sons, but her yearning for death lasted for six months.

Then she began on her Dhamma path. One day she went to make donations at Trang Rang Pathumarak Temple in Nakorn Sawan along with her sister-in-law. She met Luang Por Tawin, who then became her master and teacher. She became a laywoman practitioner at the temple for 16 days. Luang Por had her meditate beneath a tree and at the end of the day observe what had come from the tree. At the end of the day, she saw the dead dried leaves beneath the tree, and she attained a deep peace regarding her daughter’s death. She saw the value in being born as a human being and realized that there was much yet that she did not know or do. Therefore, she requested to ordain as a Maechee. That was fourteen years ago. She let go of her worldly life and entered the pursuit of Dhamma wholeheartedly, on 14 April 2006.

Luang Por taught Maechee Phaphon little-by-little restoring her joy and freshness in life while understanding with great wisdom the course of nature and Dhamma.

After ordaining with a shaven head, she learned chanting, performed her duties, practiced evenly, e.g. seated and walking meditation, studied Dhamma at the B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. levels. She listened to Luang Por’s teachings regularly and gained a new perspective on life. She learned to send loving-kindness to all people, including to those who had betrayed her in life.

Lay people came consistently to speak to her, some ordained. There was a sizable number. She travelled with her teacher and accompanied him regularly. They began to teach Dhamma together. They taught at various temples, meditation centers and schools. The laity were very pleased and refreshed, and invitations became regular. After being ordained for two years, she began to teach Dhamma on the radio each day from 05.00 – 06.30 for the village. She was the first Maechee to teach Dhamma by radio in the area.

Four months passed and she was invited to Nakorn Ratchasima to build Nippunin Meditation Center along with Dr. Punyanuch Saehaeng. Maechee Phaphon supervised the construction process, counseled the laity and taught Dhamma and meditation. People came regularly to practice with her. Some were sick, or had family problems, or challenges raising their children, or were in prostitution. She writes, “If they had many problems, I simply taught them, and I practiced clearing myself from what I had heard while counseling them.”

From 1991-1994, she shared Dhamma and built virtuousness in the hearts of students from schools and members of organizations who came to Dhamma camps at Nippunin Meditation Center each month and for ceremonies on Buddhist holidays. Maechee Phaphon proudly prepared food for them and taught them Dhamma and meditation.

In 1995 she joined along with Dr. Punyanuch Saehaeng to launch the Baby Maechee Ordination Program. She organized and coordinated along with Bhikkhu Meaw of Thai Samakee Temple too. She also had the opportunity to join with Maechee Jantima Taepraksa of Chatchernsao province and the Dhamma Sacca Foundation in order to help girls understand Buddhism. She works to empower girls to do good deeds for Thai society into the future. For five years she has happily worked to empower girls.

It is Maechee Phaphon’s intention to help those who suffer to be released from their suffering. She offers Dhamma to the next generation. She teaches them that abiding by precepts will create a community which is pleasant to live in. She works without any expectation of return. She writes, “I have nibbana in my heart.”