Buddhism ,one of the big worldreligions,is an religion and philosophy based on the beliefe in reincarnation.
If you don't belife in this it will be difficult to understand the essence of this religion.
Buddha recogniced that life from its birth to death means suffering and pain,and because everybody will be reborne it is a circle without an end.
He was looking for a way out of this and with meditation in its highest level he becomes enlightet and find the way out with an end at nirvana. 
Buddhism is the only one of the big religions without any gods.
The basic essence is karma,to do good and so good will come back to you.
The only thing I would critisice on this is that you could have done bad things before and later can compense this with good doing.
It also have influence to your next life,you have don good your next life will be on a higher level,you have done more bad you will be reborne lower (maybe an animal or insect u.s.o.)
The difference to western religions is,there is no god will punish you after your dead.
There also no rules for your life to be a good buddhist,there are only five basic recommendations for a good and happy life.
Buddhism in Thailand
             Big Buddha at Koh Samui
There are many things happened in buddhist tempels all over Thailand we never will understand,like fortunetelling,contacting ghosts ore spirits of death relatives and so on.
The throoth is that all this have nothing,ore not much,to do with the real essence of buddhism.
Also the in Thailand always present praying and asking for favors in Tempels has no roots in the teaching of lord Buddha.
It is the influence of shamanism in Buddhism what makes the Thaibuddhism mystic and uniqe for western visitors.
But there still many places in Thailand where you can learn a lot about the real buddhist teaching and buddhist meditation.
My most faforite places are Wat Suan Mok near Surat Thani and in the noth of Thailand in the city Chiang Mai it is Wat U Mong.


The concept of rebirth is widely accepted in Thailand and is central to the structure of Buddhist belief. The ultimate end of Theravada Buddhism is nirvana, the extinction of grasping at the moment, and thus an end to all suffering. Effectively, this is also an end to the cycle of rebirths (both moment-to-moment and life-to-life) that is existence. Most Thai people place little emphasis on the achievement of nirvana, whether as a final state after many rebirths or as an interior condition. In reality most Thai Buddhists aim for rebirth in a ‘better’ existence. By feeding monks, giving donations and performing regular worship at the local temple Thais seek to acquire merit.

Meditation is a technique to calme down your mind until you have no thoughts more and just realizing everything arround you as it really is.
The sicknes of our brain is to assingn everything around us in good or bad,nice or ugly and so on,so we are never able to see things really as what they are.
When we are able to switch off our own thinking,we will see the thruth of all and will be able to understand the universe an his connections with everything .

Thai Buddhist Monks

Socially every Thai male is expected to become a monk for a short period of his life, usually between the time he finishes school and the time he starts on a career. In Thailand, it is a popular belief that by becoming a monk great merit is gained, merit which also accrues to parents who sponsor the ordination. Monks (recognised by their orange robes) are very highly respected and there are a number of Thai customs relating to the special status of monks in Thai society. Lay people are expected to sit or stand with their heads at a lower level than that of a monk. Because of their religious discipline, Thai monks are forbidden physical contact with women. Women are therefore expected to make way for passing monks to ensure that accidental contact does not occur. A variety of methods are employed to ensure that no incidental contact (or the appearance of such contact) between women and monks occurs. Women making offerings to monks place their donation at the feet of the monk, or on a cloth laid on the ground or a table. Powders or ungents intended to carry a blessing are applied to Thai women by monks using the butt of a candle or stick.