Buddhist Meditation Center Opening Celebration

Last weekend was a great one here in Fawnskin. Many of the Fawnskin residents joined our neighbors for the celebrations for the formal opening at the Wat Dhammasujitto Meditation Center. I was waiting on some other photos and information but since it hasn’t arrived I thought it was time to share some of the photos with you anyway.

Here in Fawnskin it is nothing unusual to see any one of the four Monks in their saffron robes at the Post Office or even working on the building or surrounding property. I usually greet the abbot, Ajahn Sombot on my daily ambles.

On May 19th Buddhists celebrated Visakha Puja Day. Since the local celebration occurred just prior to those festivities here, many people arrived from all over Southern California to celebrate the completion of the Fawnskin center. Click here if you want to read and learn more about Buddhism.

There where several phases to the ceremonial activities. First, there was a long oration in front of the center. Devotees lit incense and murmured blessings, we were also showered with rose petals, sesame seeds, coins and other treasures.

Next, we ambled into the center for more ritual and the chanting of the Monks. One master was visiting from Thailand and each sat in the order of how long they had been Monks. I am not certain of just how many years each has been in service but on the low end I know one had 48 years!

Although the ceremony was in another language, everyone who attended felt the joy and celebrated the occasion. It has been long awaited.

The previous building had burned down prior to my moving into Fawnskin–and I have watched the activities and construction from the very beginning. You can see some former snaps here or here.

The crowd was so large that overflow seating was set up outside the temple. Although I got a good look at the interior the day before, it was a much richer experience when filled with people.

After the ceremony inside the center the Monks proceeded to the feast set outside. In Thailand, the monks rely on the community for all their needs–including food. So as they walked past the crowds each person deposited a little rice into their bowls.

Once the Monks were seated, the rest of us ambled around the food laden tables selecting from a variety of wonderful and lovingly prepared foods. We surrounded the area as we visited and munched to our heart’s content.

After lunch we again assembled in the center for an additional ceremony prior to the walking blessing–a procession around the temple led by the Monks.

It was a lovely and peaceful day and we were happy to join our neighbors in the celebration.

Above: Some of the Buddhist Monks attending the opening ceremony and blessing of the Wat Dhammasujitto Meditation Center

Above: Some of the crowd still lingering toward the end of the day.

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This entry was posted on Friday, May 23rd, 2008 and is filed under Events, Fawnskin Folk, Mountain Lake Resort.

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5 Responses to “Buddhist Meditation Center Opening Celebration

  • 1
    May 23rd, 2008 12:20

    The monks sat in order of their seniority as monks and three of the top four recently arrived from Thailand. The third ranking monk is Phra Sunthorn Dhammasadhit (the name was given to him by the King of Thailand). He is the Abbot of Wat Chao Buddha in San Bernardino. He became a novice monk at 12 and is the monk with 48 years of continuous service. One of the “lower” seniority monks in attendance is one of the few American monks. He has been a monk about 12-15 years.

    The offering of rice and money (tuk bat) is about making merit for the giver and ancestors. The monks in Thailand are required to make themselves available every morning for this to happen. It is NOT begging.

    The foreign language the monks chant in is Pali which is believed to be close to the language that Buddha used. The talks were in Thai.

  • 2
    August 25th, 2008 00:20

    Ajahn Sombat, the Abbot of the temple in Fawnskin recently finished the requirements for citizenship. There will be a party to celebrate on September 13th or 14th. Hope to see you there.

  • 3
    GG (Gossip Girl)
    August 25th, 2008 13:12

    Thanks for the update! I’ll put it on my calendar.

  • 4
    April 5th, 2009 18:29

    I live in Bear City and would like to see the temple, or attend a service. where is the location and service hours? please get in contact with me.

  • 5
    GG (Gossip Girl)
    April 6th, 2009 11:45

    If you read the posts and click on the link you will find the information…try the Grizzly article.