Besides being teachers, many of the orange-robed, tonsured Buddhist monks are experts in the use of herbal medicines. They distribute Buddhist amulets and perform exorcisms in a role that survives from the antique animist period. Amulets and exorcism represent an accretion of pre-Buddhist animistic beliefs on the main body of Buddhist thought. The amulets are tiny Buddha images worn around the neck to ensure good fortune, provide protection and enhance wealth. Although almost universally revered in Thailand, Buddha amulets are nowhere mentioned in Buddhist scriptures.

Another vital village 'monastic service' is counseling. Abbots and senior monks are often requested to arbitrate local disputes. Their monastic prestige is considered sufficient guarantee that equitable resolutions will be forwarded and accepted. Before ordination, many senior monks have led active secular lives raising their own families and farming. Thus, familiar with temporal problems and able to empathize, they are uniquely qualified to fashion and maintain social harmony, employing their considerable moral authority, if necessary, to gently admonish miscreants before minor disputes escalate.