Jack discovered, in Google, that a Thai Buddhist Temple, “Buddharangsee“, was only a 30 minute drive away from the farm, so we decided to have a day out and, with the help of our, now indispensable, GPS, we found it.
This beautiful Stupa was surrounded by meticulously manicured topiary.
No one seemed to be around, so, taking his shoes off, Jack went inside what appeared to be the office building. He came back out and beckoned me to come inside. I took my shoes off and followed him. Passing the kitchens and administration rooms we stood at the entrance to a lavishly decorated Buddhist Temple. Numerous vases of flowers surrounded the Buddhist statues and 4 monks in saffron robes sat cross-legged on a raised platform along the right side of the room. They were being served platters of fruit by local members of the Temple.
We were welcomed in and invited to sit and join them. Not really knowing what was happening, we tip toed over to the left side, offering the wai greeting of joined hands and lowered ourselves, cross-legged, onto the floor.
As the monks ate, one of the Thai men came over to us and explained that a few days ago a very high-ranking Buddhist monk, in Thailand, had died and this was to be an offering of prayers for his soul.
This is a photo of the monk, I did not find out his name.
As the monks finished eating they began to chant. I bowed my head and closed my eyes and the waves of chanting rose and fell passing from one to the other and filling the room with a spiritual presence. Suddenly drops of water landed on my head, one of the monks was walking along the small group of local Buddhists members of the temple sprinkling them with holy water.
Then the women in the group took up the chant. I heard a discreet burp and glanced up to see that the monks had been served rice and dishes of Thai food. By now I was wondering how much longer I could stay sitting with my legs crossed and I was thankful to have a wall to lean against. After about 20 minutes it was finished. I found it much harder to struggle to my feet and needed Jack’s helping hand. The local Thais invited us to join them for a meal.
I wondered about taking photos but then saw every one else busy posing and clicking away with their phone cameras.
This friendly group invited us to stay for a meal.
It was only a small group of people as being a Monday many of their Buddhist friends could not make it to the ceremony.
After the meal we went for a walk around the grounds. The Monastery had been opened in 1988 and it had been created with care and love to provide a peaceful place for contemplation.
The golden reclining Buddha had a serene and peaceful face.
This intricately carved shrine held another Buddha and a statue of the Supreme Monk in Thailand.
Buddha was everywhere in all his glorious forms. But what else caught my eye was the number of benches strategically placed around for sitting and meditating.
So I took this series for Jude’s last month of her “bench series”.
What an unexpected and interesting day, taking part in this very special and spiritual ceremony, and then enjoying a delicious meal with this friendly group of Buddhists.