Abbot Luang Por Charoen Parnchand and original patron of the charity East-West Organization
Luang Por Charoen Parnchand was born on 18th March 1929 in the Tawoong district of LOPBURI province in Thailand. His father’s name was Luang Por Chamlong and his mother’s was Lium. His parents had 7 children, three of whom became monks.
Luang Por Charoen started work at 13 years of age. He worked on a fishing boat, in markets and in gardens. He was employed in government departments, and in construction work etc. His work in so many fields gave him a great deal of experience of human life.
He was called to the monkhood in 1949. A few years later in 1953, he suggested to his elder brother Chamroon that he too should become a monk. As monks, the brothers stayed at KLONGMAO Temple in Lopburi.
Every year Luang Por Charoen walks (“tudong”) to several places in order to teach people. At the same time, this allows him to study the outside world. He has spent over 17 years of his life walking throughout Thailand. During the course of his travels he has experienced many wonders in the countryside and in the forests.
In 1956 his tudong brought him to the place that is now Thamkrabok Monastery. He was so impressed with the place that he returned in the following year with 5 colleagues, including his revered Aunt Luang Por Yai and his brother Luang Por Chamroon, and established Thamkrabok Monastery.
During his lifetime, Luang Por Charoen has amassed a tremendous amount of experience and knowledge about religion, nature and humanity itself. Staying within and without monasteries, learning, researching, and finding new forms of expression for his experiences has always been at the forefront of his mind and actions.
He has a profound knowledge of nature itself and rocks specifically. For over 50 years he has studied rocks. He has been quoted as saying, “rocks are the source of knowledge.” With a solid foundation in religion and nature he does everything simply and firmly. There are many works based upon his ideas about rocks; such as paintings, drawings, prints and silk-screening on clothing, paintings on mirrors using rock waters, lava sculptures, and of course, the “Sounds from the Earth.”