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Wat Florida Dhammaram A Theravada Buddhist Temple

858 words - 4 pages

For my cultural event I decided to revisit a Theravada Buddhist temple that I once visited previously but rather briefly. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t visit the temple since it is a different religious practice than my own. This temple is called the Wat Florida Dhammaram. The name may seem bewildering to most people but I have learned what the name means. I found out at the temple that the word “Wat” in three different countries (Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos) is defined as a Buddhist monastery or temple. This temple differs in that it is a Theravada Buddhist Temple. Prior to my visit at the temple I never knew what Theravada meant. Theravada is the more conservative of the two major traditions of Buddhism Theravada and Mahayana. What I discovered at the temple was beauty and culture every where I laid my eyes upon.
At the Buddhist temple I was in awe of the appeal of the temples edifices, statues, and of course the scenery. The temple is decorated heavily in gold with intricate elaborate designs, numerous statues dispersed around the temple, and tall southern oak trees providing fresh air and shade. The Meditation Hall (Uposatha hall) caught my eye immediately as I entered the Buddhist temple. The Uposatha hall is used for religious ceremonies, meditation, and Dhamma study. While in the Uposatha hall that several restrictions are strictly observed. Restrictions such as conservative clothing must be worn at all times. No shoes are allowed inside the temple which I know is common amongst Asian cultures but it was still a bit of a culture shock for me. I accidently broke the restriction of not having my feet pointing towards the Buddha image and monks. The mats on which the monks you cannot walk across. And unless permission is granted removing mats or chanting books aren’t allowed.
Inside the meditation temple there are murals of four main themes. According to a monk, the top portions of the walls located throughout the hall are thirty-three images that depict the life of their Lord Buddha. There are 10 Dosachat’s which are images of traditional selection of past incarnations of Buddha on the panes between windows of the hall. The murals jointly depict the life of Buddha before he took birth as Prince apparently. At the Buddhist temple there are sacred pilgrimage sites and shrines modeled after the original ones in India honoring their Lord Buddha. The most noticeable and beautiful one to me was the Walking Buddha (also called Buddhalila) at a...

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