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Leaflet on the Buddhapadipa Temple

A Guide to the Temple, Teachings of Buddhism and the life of Buddhist Monks

Stephanie Onamade- 9F

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Leaflet on the Buddhapadipa Temple

Buddhism was founded in North India, based on the teachings of Buddha. Buddhism has over 400,000,000 followers and is (approx.) 2,500 years old. Buddhism is not a religion; it is a way of life. Buddhists believe in the teachings of the Buddha. The Buddha was Siddartha Gautama. Siddartha was an Indian Prince, born in Nepal who lived a very lavish life. However, Siddartha became tired of his luxurious life and decided to leave his family and the palace in which he lived in. After he ventured out of his palace, Siddartha saw 3 things; a sick man, an old man and a dead man. He realised that these three things; Sickness, Ageing and Death were inevitable, unchangeable things. Afterwards, Siddartha saw a Holy Man and an Ascetic (someone who lives a very simple life). Siddartha then attempted to become an ascetic and did not take any food. He did this in order to try and train his mind so that he could find some answers to his question. After living as an ascetic for a long time, Siddartha began to wonder if there was more to life. He then pursued the middle way (a life...) He Meditated under a Bodhi tree. He became ENLIGHTENED and was called Buddha. After Siddharthas enlightenment, he started teaching people how to become enlightened and the ways of Buddhism. Buddhists believe in three core beliefs. They are called The three jewels, mainly because they are considered extremely precious to Buddhists. 1) Belief in the Buddha 2) The teachings of the Buddha (Dharma) 3) The Sangha- the Sangha is the Buddhist community made up of monks and nuns that have made special vows. Buddhists come to the Sangha to progress to enlightenment.

Why is Buddha so important to Buddhists?

Buddhists believe that the Buddha was important because he reached enlightenment and decided to teach and help other people reach enlightenment. It was the fact that he chose to TEACH people that was important. They also believe that the Buddha found the answer to imperfections in the world. This is important because Buddhists believe that nothing in the world is perfect. Buddhists do not worship Buddha, they just learn from his teachings. They do not call him a god. The Buddha also established vital parts of Buddhism through his teachings, such as: The Four Noble Truths Three Signs of Being Noble Eightfold Path
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Leaflet on the Buddhapadipa Temple

The Four Noble Truths:
1. Dukkha: Suffering -Dukkha includes the 3 sights of the Buddha; getting old, Sickness and Death. Buddhists also believe that we endure emotional suffering as well as physical. Examples are depression, loneliness, anger, disappointment, etc. Dukkha is the belief that suffering exists. 2. Samudaya: The origin of suffering -Samudaya is the knowledge that attachments in life and cravings cause suffering. 3. Nirodha: Suffering can Fade/End -Nirodha is the belief that Dukkha can be overcome and that one can achieve happiness. Buddhists believe that Nirodha happens through detachment as you are not attached to anything that may cause you suffering. 4. The Noble Eight-Fold Path A set of laws that guide Buddhists, they are based on Buddhas teachings.

The Three Signs of Being: Ways that Buddha used to describe life
1. Dukkha. Nothing in life is perfect, and nothing is satisfactory 2. Annica: The belief that nothing is permanent and that one is simply a collection of different states. Buddhists believe that, because of Annica, everything is constantly changing. 3. Anatta: The belief that no soul travels into afterlife, however, that what does carry on is karma. Karma is the persons life force and can be positive or negative depending on how the person lived in their previous life. Anatta is what the Buddha taught.

Noble Eight-Fold Path:

The Noble Eight-Fold Path is a guideline drawn out by Buddha in order to keep the mind fully aware of its thoughts and actions. Buddha made these guidelines because he believed that people should avoid extremities. The categories for the eight-fold path are Wisdom, Morality and Meditation. The 8 guidelines are: Right View: Realise the reality of things and see things as they really are. Right Intention: Act morally towards others- intend to do something Right Speech: Do not tell slander/lies; do not say harsh words, dont make things up, dont offend others, refrain from idle chatter and gossip and dont speak badly of other people. Right Action: Dont steal, deceive, hurt others, cheat others, and deceive others. Refrain from sexual misconduct and dont act with wrong sexual morals. NO VIOLENCE. Right Livelihood: Dont deal in weapons, living things or intoxicants. Right Effort: Dont get angry/ upset, promote positive things, and demote negative things.
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Leaflet on the Buddhapadipa Temple

Right Mindfulness: Be aware of the good and bad states of your body and mind. Be in touch with your emotions. Right Concentration: Meditation.

Other Buddhist beliefs

Karma- Karma is the belief that our actions have consequences and affect who/what we become in our next life. It is the belief that every cause has an effect. In this case our actions determine our status etc. in future lives. Nirvana- Buddhists believe that Nirvana is the end of suffering (Dukkha) and is the way to break out of the Life cycle of rebirth. The cycle of life, death and re-birth is what Buddhists believe in. They believe that they need to gain enlightenment in order to be free from suffering, break Rebirth Death out of the circle and reach Nirvana. 5 Precepts- Buddhist rules:
Do not kill Do not steal Do not lie Refrain from sexual misconduct Do not consume intoxicants

Buddha Hierarchy:

Gods Angry Gods Humans (to Nirvana) Animals Plants Hungry Ghosts Demons

The Middle Way- The status in life when one is not an aesthetic (someone who enjoys the pleasures of the senses) or an ascetic (someone who denies pleasures of the senses), but pursues a life that is in between the two, in the middle. A life in which you have the essentials and what you need to live on as well as not going overboard and living an extreme, lavish life. You avoid the extremes.
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Leaflet on the Buddhapadipa Temple

Buddhapadipa Temple
Wat Buddhapadipa Temple is situated at 14 Calonne Road, Wimbledon, London SW19 5HJ. The temple was the first Buddhist temple to be built in the UK, established by the London Buddhist Temple Foundation with the objective of creating a centre for the dissemination of theoretical and practical Buddhist teachings in Europe. This temple has been under the Royal Patronage since 1965 when it was originally located on Christ Church Road, Richmond. It was moved to its present site in Calonne Road, Wimbledon Parkside in 1976. With the support of the Royal Thai Government and the Thai people, the Foundation erected an "Ubosot", a Thai style building for monastic ceremonies. The celebration of monastic boundary held on October 30, 1982, enabled Wat Buddhapadipa to become a formal temple according to Thai tradition: in fact, the only Thai temple ever built in Europe. From the start, Wat Buddhapadipa has actively promoted theoretical and practical Buddhism in London as well as in other cities of the United Kingdom and in countries such as the Federal Republic of Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland. It has thus become one of Europe's most important Buddhist training centres. In 1986, when the British Museum organized an exhibition "Buddhism: Art and Faith", a London newspaper even commented that there was no need to go far in order to understand Buddhism, since visits to the British Museum and Wat Buddhapadipa should suffice. The grounds of the Temple cover a monastic area of approximately four acres in which the Uposatha Hall is situated on an ornamental lake, a small grove, flower garden and an orchard. The Temple consists of the House where the monks live and a cottage. On the ground floor of the House there is a Shrine room, a Dining room, a study, a Library, a Cloak room, an Office, a Kitchen and Telephone room. The rest of the House is the place for the monks. The Uposatha Hall or the Temple is constructed place for the traditional Thai style on the monastic area. The opening time is from 9.00 am to 6.00 pm: weekdays for the temple ground and weekend for the main temple.

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Leaflet on the Buddhapadipa Temple

Buddhist Monks at the temple

Buddhist Monks are fully ordained male (and now female- Bhikkhuni) Buddhist monastics (Bikkhu). Their lifestyles are shaped so as to support their spiritual practice, to live a simple and meditative life, and attain Nirvana. Monks of the same temple wear the same coloured Robe. The Name and duties of the Dhammaduta Monks resident at The Buddhapadipa Temple:
Phrakru Samulom Pabhassaro Phra Rachabhavanavimol The chief of the Dhammaduta monks and the abbot Secretary of Dhammaduta monk and the temple and Dhamma speaker in English

Phramaha Sangthong Dhammacaro Dhammaduta Monk, Meditation Master and Dhamma speaker in English

Phramaha Savaddi Yanatharo Dhammaduta Monk and Meditation Master

Phramaha Prasert Thitakuno Dhammaduta Monk and Meditation Master

Phra Sutas Amarasuddhi Dhammaduta monk and Head Teacher of the Sunday school at the Temple

Phramaha Paisan Khemacaro Stephanie Onamade- 9F

Phramaha Chai Sutamedhi Page 6

Leaflet on the Buddhapadipa Temple

Dhammaduta monk and secretary of the Sunday school at the Temple Dhammaduta Monk and Meditation Master

Becoming a Monk
Buddhist Monks are part of the Sangha. The Sangha is the community of Buddhists who have made special vows. To become a member of the Sangha (a Monk) you have to take refuge there and believe in the vows mentioned below: I take refuge in the Buddha I take refuge in the Dharma (that is, the law) I take refuge in the Sangha (that us, the community) Novice Buddhists Monks can take refuge in a temple when they are young, for 3 months. This trial-period is done to ensure that the Buddhist wants to become a monk and to let visit and experience the temple beforehand. Monks at Buddhist Temples have 3 main duties to carry out within their day. These are: 1. Meditation 2. Study 3. Teaching

My sketch of a Buddhist Monk; talking, wearing a traditional robe

Meditation is a major part of Buddhism and very important in the life of a Buddhist Monk. Buddhists meditate to improve focus, concentration, relaxation and a sense of tranquillity. They try to see things for what they are (Right View); they do this by INSIGHT MEDITATION in which they open up the 6 senses and stop their attachments by not judging things. They also meditate to detach themselves and to rid themselves from Dukkha. There are many other types of meditation (Walking, Sitting, Reclining) and many practices that Buddhists can use in their lives.

Buddhists study to extend their knowledge of the outside world and to have the knowledge to control themselves and their feelings. There is no barrier and no limit to what Buddhists can learn. Buddhists can study from various sources- Books, TV, Internet, Outside World etc. Buddhists believe in the following things, which give them a guide of what to study about: The most important time is NOW The most important person is YOURSELF

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Leaflet on the Buddhapadipa Temple

Part of the Buddhist Monastic ways are teaching others, just like the Buddha did, about Buddhism. The idea is NOT TO CONVERT others but to teach those who want to listen and learn about Buddhism as a way of life. At the Buddhapadipa Temple, there are several classes and sessions that members of the Buddhist and outside community can take (Mentioned Below). They are to encourage people NOT TO CONVERT. An example of this our trip to the temple in which the Buddhists invited us into their holy place/ school and taught us about Buddhism! As well as inviting people into the temple, the Monks got OUT into the community and get talking to people about Buddhism etc. They must wear their robes when they go out as it is tradition.


05:00 Wake up 07:00 Have Breakfast 08:00 Meditation and Chanting 11:00 Lunch (Optional- Last solid food consumed until sunrise next day) 18:00 Meditation and Chanting

Daily Routine a

Buddhist Monk

In between the structure of their day (above), the monks carry out their three duties (Meditation, Study, Community) as well as any general tasks of maintenance around the temple. There are also the courses, classes, ceremonies and activities that involve the local community which take place regularly:

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Leaflet on the Buddhapadipa Temple

Courses Sunday 9th May 2010- Saturday 15th May 2010- SPRING RETREAT Sunday 19th Sep. 2010- Saturday 25th Sep. SUMMER RETREAT Monday 27th Dec. 2010- Friday 31st Dec. 2010- WINTER RETREAT Classes First Saturday of the month- One day retreats for 2010 Every Sunday morning and afternoon throughout the year- Sunday class for 2010 Tuesday Night Classes 2010 Thursday Night Classes 2010 Saturday Classes for 2010 Ceremonies Friday 1st Jan 2010- New Years Day Sunday 28th Feb 2010- Maghapuja Day Sunday 11th April 2010- Thai New year (Songkran) Sunday 30th May 2010- Visakha Puja Sunday 27th June 2010- Former Abbots Day Sunday 25th July 2010- Asalhapuja Day Tuesday 27th July 2010-The beginning of the Buddhist Rainy Retreat Day Sunday 12th Sep 2010- Vessantara Day Saturday 23rd Oct 2010- The end of the Buddhist Rainy Retreat Day (Awk Phansa) Sunday 21st Nov 2010- Kathina and Loy Krathong Festival Day. Activities Sunday 10th Jan 2010- Childrens Day Every day throughout summer. It is a one day practice starting from 09:00 am. To 16:00 pm.- The Meditation Garden Saturday 24th July 2010 Sunday 1st August 2010- Silacarini Day (nuns) Sunday 8th August 2010- Sunday 15th August 2010- Open House 2010 Saturday 2nd October 2010- Lay Buddhist Association Annual Dana and Study Day

Life in the Temple

Within the Temple there are some rules and general laws. -You must obey temple, state and monastic laws -No usage of intoxicants The rules about obeying laws are examples of the Buddhas teaching Right Action. The 2nd law is put into place so that one can follow the Buddhas teachings Right Mindfulness and Right Effort. Intoxicants cloud your mind and disallow you to think properly so the ban of using them in the temple is for a reason. The law also shows that the Buddhas teachings have an impact and affect the lives of Buddhist Monks in the Temple; if it were not for the Buddhas

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Leaflet on the Buddhapadipa Temple

teaching of the Noble Eight-Fold Path, then there would be no need for this rule. If these rules are not followed, then a monk is told to leave the temple. The Buddhist temple is a school so you can follow your own religion as well as the Buddhism way of life. The Monks in The Buddhapadipa Temple have separate rooms, in which they retire to. They do not keep many personal belongs in the room as having belongings leads to attachment. The monks dont sleep on beds because having a bed is seen as living an aesthetic lifestyle. Instead, they sleep in sleeping bags, on the floor. The rooms in which they live are quite plain and simple, once again, to avoid aestheticism. There are 6 Monks in The Buddhapadipa Temple. They are all permitted to working together/ doing activities together. However, they suppress their emotions so as not to be careless. Buddhists get 2 meals a day- Breakfast and Lunch. They do not consume solid food in the evenings. This is not for fasting, it is for discipline. Buddhists favour the saying Eat to live not live to eat because it summarises their beliefs that you should only have what is essential. Not too much, not too little; just enough The Middle Way.

Features of the Temple

Temple Room
The temple room is located in the main building of the temple. It is a beautifully decorated room with many candles, pictures, incense sticks and most dominatingly; a statue of the Buddha. The temple room is where many classes for the community take place. Meditation and Meditation classes also take place in the great room. Overall it is an elaborate room which perfectly classifies the status of the Buddha. Shrine Room The shrine room is also located in the main building of the temple and is located in the downstairs part of it. The shrine room has the same uses as the
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Leaflet on the Buddhapadipa Temple

Temple room; however it is larger and much less elaborately decorated. It is more practical for holding meetings and classes as there are chairs and more space.

At several points on the site there are statues of Buddha and other icon figures related to Buddhism. The figures are placed in a way so that offerings of them. The the temple as well as society. can be put next to/in front donations will go towards the contributions from

Buddhist Altar
The altar in the shrine room has a statue of Buddha. We know that Buddhists have great respect for Buddha. They show this by Bowing 3 times before passing him. They do this out of respect NOT because they are worshipping him. They show respect because they are students. There are Candles on the altar. The candles represent the light of wisdom. There are also lotus flowers. The flowers represent community.

Stephanie Onamade- 9F

My drawing of the Buddhist Altar in the Shrine Room

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Leaflet on the Buddhapadipa Temple

Lakes, Bridges, Ponds

Throughout my trip, I saw many ponds and areas of water. There was a bridge that we had to cross to get to the temple. The river below the bridge was calm and serene. I believe that the Buddhists have many ponds etc. because they represent tranquillity. It was extremely peaceful when we walked around the ponds so I can imagine how it must feel to meditate beside the water areas; simply blissful.

Buddhism + Monks
The practices of Buddhism affect a Monks life in many ways. Buddhist Monks have to be very controlled and focused in their lives, in many ways these are good qualities, but can you be too controlled? Are monks closed up from the outside world? Other people are allowed the freedom to roam around and enjoy the world, however when you are a Buddhist Monk, you only go out into the community to teach people. It must be hard for Buddhist monks to cope with staying inside their temple for long periods of time. Are Buddhists restricted to certain quantities of food? Since Buddhism teaches discipline, monks only get 2 meals a day, whereas the body is said to need 3 meals a day. So therefore, is the body being nutritionally deprived? Is it right to split up a family in order to become a Monk? When monks apply to join a Buddhist temple they have to sacrifice all the things that they are attached to. This means leaving behind your partner (and children) to become a Buddhist monk. This leaves people whom you are close to on their own, worried about you and possibly without any income/support/money. Also, children may lose a father in the process of becoming a monk. It is not right for fathers/mothers to abandon their children to rid themselves of suffering. If you are leaving people behind, you cause more suffering so therefore how are you getting rid of suffering? Your family will be thinking about what happened to you and SUFFERING. Are Monks ALLOWED to grieve? When a member of your family who you left behind dies, a monk is expected to dismiss the thought of death from his mind. But everyone thinks of the
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Leaflet on the Buddhapadipa Temple

person who has passed away, even for a split second, and in that second, you are suffering. When you have to train your mind and body not to suffer, you suffer in the process- this adds up to more suffering than there would have been in the first place. Buddhism teaches monks to bottle up their emotions; whereas normally you would be expected to openly express your grievances, Buddhism says not to. Is this wrong and against human nature? Monks have a lot of pressure on them and a lot of expectations of how they are supposed to behave. They have to sacrifice a lot and dont gain much so how can they be happy? Buddhism boasts of stopping suffering, but what about happiness? Are Buddhists happy when they are meditating for long hours on end, eating very little food and away from their loved ones? Wouldnt it be nice for them to be able to relax and just be human? Although the above are negative points, Buddhism does have positive points, you attain Nirvana and NO MORE SUFFERING!

Source: http://www.buddhapadipa.orbuddhhtml

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