I live in United States, and NO, I did’t travel half way round the globe for this photograph!
This could easily have been some spot in Thailand or Cambodia, isn’t it? :)
But to my great delight and thrill, I made this serendipitous discovery right here in America, that too, less than 100 miles away from home!
Last weekend, while traveling south on I-675, I noticed a vibrant, multi-colored Asian structure surrounded by these huge statues of Buddha glancing over the trees on that side of the road. I was awestruck.
So magnificently colorful, such a unique styled structure, and so ornate carvings! Was I really in America?
What was that!?
I quickly pulled up Google Maps on my phone and found out that it was a Buddhist temple known as – Wat Lao Buddha Phothisaram.
The term “Wat” is borrowed from Pali word – Vatta, meaning – “Which goes on, or, is customary, i. e. duty, service, custom, function”.
A Wat is a Buddhist temple in Thailand, Cambodia or Laos.
Obviously, on my way back, I stopped at this curious spot. It was early evening. The doors were closed, maybe because it was not a good time, but most probably because the temple structure is still under construction. I noticed some painters painting the pillars on which the statues rest.
It was not possible to go inside the temple but there was no complaint – the presence of the divine could very well be felt in the peace & silence of the place. And also, the exterior of the temple is intriguing enough for the senses to keep admiring!
After this brief stop at this beautiful temple, I looked up for images of a few other “Wat – temples” around the world. I found out that the style of this temple was in no way less authentic than those in the Buddhist majority countries.
Now, this is one of the things that makes me praise America. Presence, serious presence of so many ethnic groups and their unique cultural backgrounds they bring with themselves!
I don’t follow Buddhism as a religion, I am not a religious person anyway, but I am always keen to understand the ancient wisdom of any religion, the very basic teachings it offers, about how to live life in the right way. Since last few years, I have been reading about Zen spirituality quite often.
Living mindfully. – I have understood, is the central message of Zen Buddhism.
The presence of such a beautiful Buddhist temple so near to home made me feel good, simply, good.
Waiting for it to finish soon & to see it in its full glory…
Meanwhile, here are 5 great quotes from Gautama Buddha which I combined with one of my photographs of Wat Lao Buddha Phothisaram – to make picture quotes; feel free to download and share them with people who matter to you! :)
“It is better to travel well than to arrive.”
“What we think, we become.”
“Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace.”
“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”
“There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.”
Do beautiful words of wisdom inspire you? Check out my Instagram page, I combine my nature photography with some timeless mindfulness quotes and post there regularly!
Images & Article Copyright ©2017 Gyaneshwari Dave