SuttaCentral
UpasakaMichael

UpasakaMichael

I am thankful for Sutta Central and the deep practice opportunities that it has afforded me, and so many other people.

I ordained as an anagarika in Chiang Mai in 2014 and maintain this daily 8 precept practice and live as best I can a renunciant life; previously, in 2010, I had spent part of a rains in Chiang Mai as a temporary samanera. A legal resident of Wisconsin, I reside part time in a former derelict house (near the NIU Burma Studies Center) and keep a small studio in Chiang Mai near Wat Umong, and strive to spend little on personal requisites, mindful of the beautiful and hardworking Hill Tribe people that I have met in Thailand that live in fear and poverty. I practice mainly at Wat Buddha Haksa (WI), in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and am Member No. 3938 of the BSWA. By vocation, I have been a family lawyer, working on child custody, guardian ad litem, juvenile and guardianship matters. I do some pro bono work in the area of advocating for undocumented immigrant children in the US that need representation to fight deportation.

Through my law practice, I raise funds for direction into the NGO www.karunainstitute.org and its subsidiary NGO www.waikhru.com . I use funds derived from my work to help with various charitable causes, namely anti-child trafficking in Thailand and food security issues with the Hill Tribes of Thailand. I formed PACThai.org as a means to further partnerships with NGOs like BKK’s ECPAT that fight the trafficking of women and children in Thailand for the tourist and online sex trade. I was in 2016 a “reform” USA Director for COSA, one of the largest anti-child-trafficking NGOs in Thailand until its forced closure by the Board on which I sat. The saga of Thai COSA’s sacked (by our Board) Thailand director was captured in an award winning 2016 documentary called The Wrong Light. http://www.thewronglight.com

I am also a licensed MMA Judge for the State of Indiana since 2012, judging professional MMA and Muay Thai events. I use the funds paid to me for this work to help support Phra Khru Bah’s (he a former Muay Thai champion) temple orphanage in Chiang Rai.