Urban Dharma Newsletter... September 3, 2002
Awakening to the Present ...by Lama Surya Das
Solving Gosho no Ichidaiji - the crisis
3. Book Review: Graceful Exits:
How Great Beings Die
6. Temple/Center of the Week: Wat
Thai of Los Angeles
1. Awakening to the Present ...by
Lama Surya Das
Lama Surya Das has spent more than 30 years studying
with the great spiritual masters of Asia, including 15 in India
and the Himalayas and eight years in a cloistered Tibetan retreat.
He has brought many Tibetan lamas to North America to teach
and reside. He is a leading spokesman for Buddhism and contemporary
spirituality, as well as a poet, translator, spiritual teacher,
and a lama in the Tibetan Buddhist order. Surya leads meditation
retreats, workshops, and lectures worldwide. Lama Surya Das
is the founder and spiritual director of the Dzogchen Foundation
in Massachusetts and California, and organized the Western Buddhist
Teachers Network weeklong conferences with the Dalai Lama. Surya
is the author of four books, including the national best-seller
"Awakening the Buddha Within: Tibetan Wisdom for the Modern
World," and is active in interfaith dialogue. He lives
in Concord, Massachusetts.
What is the Buddhist perspective on an afterlife?
Different schools and traditions offer slightly different answers.
For example, some Buddhists say that the Buddha himself did
not say much about the afterlife, or even about rebirth for
that matter, but concentrated on teaching how this life can
be lived in virtue and wisdom. A Zen teacher once told me, "The
afterlife is just a dream. Be here now." When I said I
had heard and read much about it from Tibetan and other sources,
he laughed out loud and said, "That is all just a Himalayan
the Tibetan teachings on dreams, conscious dying, the afterlife
or bardo (intermediate stage), and rebirth, are very well developed
and subtle. They aim to help us awaken from illusion and realize
our true nature. These teachings are found in the renowned "Tibetan
Book of the Dead," an ancient scripture of the Nyingmapa
tradition, recently outlined and commented upon by Sogyal Rinpoche
in his best-selling "Tibetan Book of Living and Dying,"
which I highly recommend.
concept of an "afterlife" is not generally found in
Buddhism. Lamas say that birth is not our beginning nor is death
our end, that the bardo is a transitional space between death
afterlife more properly applies to Christian theology and its
notion of a heaven and hell-- which people reach after death,
depending upon how they live in this world. I used to think
that my Jewish ancestors believed in heaven, but when I asked
an Orthodox rabbi from Jerusalem who teaches Kabbalah about
this, he responded that rather than a permanent heaven or hell,
the Kabbalah views all creation as being in constant transition
and process until such time when all re-unites in primordial
oneness with God.
are similarly process-oriented, recognizing the nature of all
conditioned phenomena as impermanent, ever-changing, and interconnected.
Therefore, Buddhists do not believe in any eternal state such
as heaven or hell. The bardo between one life and another, between
one day and the next (through the bardo of sleep and dreaming),
or between daily reality and spiritual reality through the bardo
of meditation are viewed as equally real and unreal. Each stage
is simply part of our spiritual journey and can be utilized--either
intelligently or unskillfully--as grist for the mill of awakening
Buddhism stresses the importance of mindful, ethical, and compassionate
living in the Holy Now, each and every moment. Living in this
manner helps us awaken from the dream-like nature of everyday
existence, come into lucidity while dreaming at night, and awaken
through conscious dying and even after death. If in our lives
we become awakened, liberated, and free then there is no afterlife
to be concerned about.
2. Solving Gosho no Ichidaiji - (the crisis
those who encounter the power of the Primal Vow, Not one passes
by in vain; They are filled with the treasure ocean of virtues,
The defiled waters of their blind passions not separated from
it. (From Hymns of the Pure Land masters. #13)
few weeks ago, I found a good story from Hongwanji Shinpo, Hongwanji's
Newspaper. The story was really short, yet made me think about
our life. Here is the story.
"Mom, why do I have to study?"
"Because you can go to a good school."
"So you can get a good job."
"If you have a good job, you can make a lot of money."
"But we all die eventually don't we?"
"Yes, but you will receive a lot of flowers at the funeral."
"Oh, now I understand. I'm studying now to receive a lot
of flowers at the funeral."
thought this story was funny, yet at the same time makes us
question our lives. If we live for wealth, power, and material
things, then our life will be in vain. We are not doing our
best to get flowers at a funeral. What then is the purpose or
meaning of life? I wish I had an answer, unfortunately I don't.
In fact, I'm not sure that there even is an answer to this question.
I can however, give you some thoughts as a Jodo Shinshu Buddhist.
of religion or culture, we all want to live a happy life or
least a life without worries. How do we do this without living
in vain? In Jodo Shinshu, solving Gosho no Ichidaiji (the crisis
of afterlife) is the most urgent thing that we have to do. Once
we over come this problem, we will have peace and a sense of
security. This gives us strength, and will lead to a fulfilled
life. A good example of this is the R.R.S.P. Why do we save
money for our future? If you think about this, I'm sure you
will be able to understand why solving Gosho no Ichidaiji is
know some of you might feel that Gosho or the afterlife is something
far from our present life. So here is another story: One day
a minister was invited as a guest speaker to a temple. After
his Dharma talk, he asked the host temple∂s Bomorisan
(Minister∂s wife) a question. "Who was the young
lady sitting in the front row and listening so enthusiastically?"
She said "Oh, her? She's my daughter and I think she listened
so intently because of recent events." "What do you
mean?" Asked the minister. "Recently she was seriously
ill and almost died, but fortunately, she survived. After that
experience I told her she survived this time, but we all have
to die eventually, so she had better listen the teaching of
Buddha and solve Gosho-no Ichidaiji."
think about these stories and when you do, you will be one step
closer to solving Gosho-no Ichidaiji.
3. Graceful Exits: How Great Beings Die:
Death Stories of Tibetan, Hindu & Zen Masters
...by Sushila Blackman
Exits offers guidance in the form of 108 stories recounting
the ways in which Hindu, Tibetan, and Zen Buddhist masters,
both ancient and modern, have confronted their own deaths. By
directly presenting the grace, clarity, and even humor with
which great spiritual teachers have met the end of their days.
AND REBIRTH ...from Kalachakranet.org
is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die."
a page on death and rebirth?
can we really understand life if we don't understand death?
do not have a morbid fascination with death, but, as Tibetan
Master Drakpa Gyaltsen said:
prepare for the future all their lives, yet meet the next life
day is a special day, it is yours.
slipped away, it cannot be filled anymore with meaning.
tomorrow nothing is known.
this day, today, is yours, make use of it.
you can make someone happy.
you can help another.
day is a special day, it is yours."
Buddhism, the way to describe the body and mind, is to talk
about the five aggregates. The first aggregate is form, which
refers to the physical aspect or body of a sentient being,
and the next four aggregates are aspects of the mind.
Form - the body
Feeling or sensation - this refers to the mental separation
of sensations into pleasant, unpleasant and neutral.
Recognition, discrimination or distinguishing awareness
- in many ways similar to the discriminating intellect
Primary Consciousness - the five sense consciousnesses
(smell, touch, taste, seeing and hearing) and mental consciousness
Compositional Factors, volition - these are all other
remaining mental processes, in general "thoughts".
essential distinction is made between the different levels of
subtlety of body and mind. Distinctions are made between:
Body: our "normal" physical body of muscles, fat,
Mind: our "normal" observed continuation of thoughts
and feelings etc.
Body: the "energy" within our body as it flows
in our energy channels, similar to their description
in Chinese acupuncture or Indian yoga.
Mind: the state of mind that we are normally unaware of,
and which becomes noticeable during deep meditation. This is
not really identical to our Western concept of sub-consciousness,
although some aspects may overlap. It may be more similar to
intuition and inner wisdom.
Subtle Body / Mind: this is the most essential and subtle
part of a sentient being. This aspect of ourselves is extremely
difficult to observe; body and mind at this level are inseparable
and could be described as 'mental energy'.
above levels of mind and body are sometimes compared to going
when awake, we are aware of our gross body and mind.
when we are dreaming, we have a very flexible body and ideas
in our mind that we normally do not experience, similar to the
subtle body and mind.
subtle: when we are in deep sleep, we are barely aware of
both body and mind.
Tibetan Buddhism, often the so-called 'clear-light mind' is
mentioned. This is the most subtle level of mind, which we are
normally not even aware of. It appears to the very advanced
meditator and during the death process. In the case of death,
only advanced meditators will be able to notice it. It is a
non-conceptual, 'primordial' state of mind.
a talk given by HH Dalai Lama. Oct. 11-14, 1991 New York City.
Path of Compassion teaching preliminary to Kalachakra:
When people hear of luminosity of clear light that dawns at
the moment of death they ask why it is called clear light. What
has this got to do with light as we know it?
Lama: "I don't think that in the term clear light,
light should be taken literally. It is sort of metaphoric. This
could have its roots in our terminology of mental will. According
to Buddhism, all consciousness or all cognitive mental events
are said to be in the nature of clarity and luminosity. So it
is from that point of view that the choice of the term light
is used. Clear light is the most subtle level of mind, which
can be seen as the basis or the source from which eventual experience
or realisation of Buddhahood, Buddha's wisdom might come about,
therefore it is called clear light. Clear light is a state of
mind which becomes fully manifest only as a consequence of certain
sequences or stages of dissolution, where the mind becomes devoid
of certain types of obscurations, which are again metaphorically
described in terms of sun-like, moonlike and darkness. These
refer to the earlier three stages of dissolution which are technically
called, including the clear light stage, the four empties. At
the final stage of dissolution the mind is totally free of all
these factors of obscuration. Therefore it is called clear light.
Sort of a light. It is also possible to understand the usage
of the term clear light in terms of the nature of mind itself.
Mind or consciousness is a phenomena which lacks any obstructive
quality. It is non-obstructed."
matter where you prepare your last bed,
matter where the sword of death falls,
terrifying messengers of death descend,
and giant; and glare with thirsty eyes.
and family, weeping, surround you.
your wealth and possessions,
offer prayers and enshroud you.
you pass away;
'Songs of spiritual change' by His Holiness the 7th Dalai Lama
(transl. Glenn Mullin)
is in Buddhism defined as 'the separation of the Most Subtle
Body & Mind from the more gross aspects of the body and
mind'. As this separation is a gradual process, death is not
a point in time, like in Western thought, but it describes a
period during which this separation occurs.
the death process, it is said that we have a sequence of experiences.
What these will be exactly, how long they last and their exact
order may depend on the individual person and the death cause.
Generally they are described as "visions", which appear
when the experience of the various physical elements dissolves
and sense awareness diminishes.
common sequential order they are:
Mirage vision: vision become blurred, mirages and dark
images appear, the sense of seeing dissolves. Earth absorbs
into Water: the body becomes weak and powerless, a feeling of
sinking or falling.
Smoke vision: feeling absorbed in smoke, the sense of
hearing dissolves. Feelings of pleasant, unpleasant or neutral
cease. Water absorbs into Fire: the bodily fluids dry up.
Fireflies: feeling surrounded by sparks or fireflies,
the sense of smell dissolves. Memories of friends and enemies
fade away. Fire absorbs into Air: food and drinks are not digested
Butter-lamp: appearance of a dying flame, the sense of
taste dissolves and the body cannot be moved anymore. No more
thoughts of worldly activities or purpose etc. Air absorbs into
Consciousness: the breath ceases.
Somewhere around here one would become "clinically dead"
according to Western science -
White vision: appearance of a vacuum filled with white
Red vision: appearance of a vacuum filled with red light,
like at dawn.
Black vision: appearance of darkness, slowly losing consciousness.
Clear light of death: appearance of an empty vacuum.
Few people have a sufficiently trained awareness to experience
this state appears quite similar to the highly evolved state
of the clear light mind of an enlightened Buddha, very advanced
practitioners are able to remain in this state for weeks by
the power of their meditation; clinically dead, but without
decay of the body. In Tibet, many stories are told of masters
who died in meditation position, and whose body would not decompose
or even fall over for weeks.
dedication by the Panchen Lama:
the doctor gives me up,
rituals no longer work,
friends have given up hope for my life,
anything I do is futile,
I be blessed to remember my guru's instructions."
STATE - BARDO
the death process, a similar process like the above visions
is experienced in reverse order. After the mirage vision, one
finds oneself in the intermediate state or bardo in Tibetan.
The experiences in this state are described as being similar
to dreaming. The "body" moves as fast as thought and
- confused as most beings are by death - it can even take the
aspect of a very long nightmare. Of course, nothing but our
own karma is at work here, creating pleasant or unpleasant experiences.
it is explained that the maximum period that one can stay in
bardo is 49 days. Within that period, all beings have been attracted
to a new body to take rebirth. Every 7 days in bardo, a kind
of 'small death and rebirth' occurs. Very advanced practitioners
can use this period to make quick spiritual progress by realising
the mental and karmic processes at work.
the bardo, one will be attracted to a copulating male and female.
At this stage, a kind of small death from the bardo occurs.
The reverse process as described above in the 'visions' is experienced
while the most subtle body / mind is connecting to the fertilised
egg. With this, contact to a subtle and gross body is established,
and gradually the subtle and gross levels of mind will arise
as well. If one is attracted to the female, one will be reborn
as a male and vice versa.
school teacher would not suggest that pupils should disbelieve
the ‘round earth theory’ until they had circumnavigated
the globe. So the ‘round earth theory’ is actually
accepted on faith in the West under the auspices of a scientific
rationale. We have science but we allow ‘faith’
in science. Buddhism is an experiential science which also allows
‘faith’. I would say that the similarity between
the two went further – I would say that both use ‘faith’
in terms of ‘working hypothesis’. And that is how
Khandro Déchen and I present rebirth: it’s a beneficial
working hypothesis. One doesn’t have to believe it, but
one should not disbelieve it either. To disbelieve without experiential
evidence is the same as to believe without experiential evidence."
short story from 'Zen flesh, Zen bones', called 'The Gates of
soldier named Nobushige came to Hakuin and asked: "Is there
really a paradise and a hell?"
are you?" inquired Hakuin.
am a samurai", the warrior replied.
a soldier!" sneered Hakuin, "What kind of ruler would
have you as his guard? You look like a beggar". Nobushige
became so angry that he began to draw his sword, but Hakuin
continued: "So you have a sword! Your weapon is probably
to dull to cut off my head."
Nobushige drew his sword Hakuin remarked:"Here open the
gates of hell!"
these words the samurai, perceiving the master's discipline,
put away his sword and bowed.
open the gates of paradise", said Hakuin.
concepts of the different realms in Buddhism can be seen as
a direct consequence of the law of karma. When beings accumulate
many negative actions, they can be expected to receive "hellish"
experiences in return; similarly, many positive actions can
give rise to a "heavenly" existence.
reason that these realms are called "Desire Realms"
is that desire (and other delusions) is in some way or another
present in all of them.
is also mention of the 'Form Realms' and 'Formless Realms';
which are more like being in advanced stages of meditation,
and are actually results of advanced meditation. Although desire
is not really experienced in these states (they are sometimes
called Desireless realms), apart from the desire to meditate,
progress to enlightenment not possible here.
"realms" do not necessarily need to exist in different
locations or dimensions. Basically, they are described in terms
of the main type of experience that beings have. All these realms
are all within "cyclic existence", meaning they are
all temporary states within the cycles of death and birth.
to Buddhism, we cannot only be born as human beings the next
time, but also as animal, "god", "half-god",
"hungry ghost" or even in "hell". Obviously,
these words have specific connotations in most religions, and
the expressions in Buddhism refer to different experiences than
e.g. in Christianity. The main difference is that a stay
in none of the realms is permanent. After a life in "god-realm"
one could be reborn in the "hell-realm"; it all just
depends on our karma ripening.
brief description of the six desire realms:
God-realm: Life is experienced as happiness virtually
without any problems whatsoever. The largest problem of this
realm comes when the time is near to die, one begins to experience
suffering as one can see the next rebirth coming up, which is
usually much less pleasant. So a life as a god definitely does
not refer to anything like "God" in the Judeo-Christian-Moslim
traditions; maybe more like the Greek gods.
Demigod realm: Life is experiences at much happiness,
the main problems are caused by jealousy. The demigods can see
the perfect life the gods are experiencing and become jealous,
as the gods have somewhat better lives. They then want to fight
the gods, but are always defeated.
Human realm: Life is more or less a balance between happiness
and suffering. The biggest advantage of being born as a human
is that one has the possibilities (and good reasons because
of the problems) to change one's karma and do practices to become
liberated from cyclic existence or even achieve Buddhahood;
see below in Precious Human Rebirth.
Animal realm: Life is ruled by ignorance. Happiness and
suffering happen, but understanding it or even controlling it
does not occur in the darkened awareness of an animal.
Hungry ghost or Preta (Tib.) realm: Life is marked by
suffering, especially from attachment and craving, without being
able to satisfy one's needs. Life here is often described as
a continuous suffering from hunger and thirst, but one cannot
eat or drink.
Hell realm: Life is defined as suffering virtually without
any happiness whatsoever. The only positive thing about the
Buddhist hell realm is the fact that it is not eternal. After
consuming up much of the negative karmic potential, one will
die and has the chance to be reborn in a different (more pleasant)
the Desire Realms, but still in cyclic existence, there are
the Form Realm and the Formless Realm, existence
in these realms can be extremely long, but when one's karma
runs out, rebirth into lower states of existence with apparent
suffering will occur:
Realm: achieved when one has attained high levels of concentration
with which one focuses on clarity and nonconceptual awareness.
the Form Realm, one does not experience the 'suffering of suffering'.
Beings here have renounced the enjoyment of external sense objects
but still have attachment to internal form (their own body and
Realm: The highest state of cyclic existence, achieved when
one has attained high levels of concentration with which one
focuses on nonconceptual awareness. Beings here have renounced
form and attachment to pleasures of form (physical) pleasures,
and exist only within their mindstream. Their mind however,
is still bound by subtle desire and attachment to mental states
human rebirth is often called precious in Buddhism, as one has
unique possibilities to free oneself from the cycle of rebirth.
Simply said, in the 'lower realms', one is usually completely
engulfed in misery (hell and hungry ghost realm) or simply unable
to reason logically (animal realm). In the 'higher realms' like
of the gods and demigods, one tends to indulge luxury and comfort,
and barely realises the problems of rebirth until that life
comes to an end.
the Tibetan tradition, the factors making up the preciousness
of human life are listed as the 8 leisures and 10 endowments
(note that some of them actually are repeated twice with marginally
8 leisures are freedom from: rebirth as hell-being, preta,
animal, demigod or god, incomplete organs, having done the 5
heinous crimes, and having no views opposite to 3 jewels of
10 endowments are: being human, having one's organs intact,
not having performed the 5 heinous crimes, no views opposite
the 3 jewels of refuge, not being crazy, living in land where
Dharma exists, not living in a barbarian country, living in
a time when Dharma is available, having Dharma teachers/centers/practitioners
around, and other people appreciate and help practitioners.
order to develop a fully qualified desire to take advantage
of a life of leisure, you must reflect on its four elements,
The need to practice the teachings, because all living beings
only want happiness and do not want suffering and because achieving
happiness and alleviating suffering depend only on practicing
the ability to practice, because you are endowed with the external
condition, a teacher, and the internal conditions, leisure and
the need to practice in this lifetime, because if you do not
practice, it will be very difficult to obtain leisure and opportunity
again for many lifetimes; and
the need to practice right now, because there is no certainty
when you will die.
these, the third stops the laziness of giving up, which thinks,
"I will practice the teaching in future lives." The
fourth stops the laziness of disengagement, which thinks, "Although
I should practice in this lifetime, it is enough to practice
later on and not to practice in my early years, months, and
Holioness the Dalai Lama
are right about not relying on intelligence, talent, quick-wittedness,
or sagacity in learning the Way. Still, it is wrong to encourage
a person to become blind, deaf, or ignorant. Since studying
the Way does not require having wide knowledge or talented abilities,
you should not show disdain for anyone because of their inferior
capacity. True practice of the Way must be easy. Nevertheless,
even in the monasteries of great Sung China, there are only
one or two people out of several hundred or thousands of practitioners
who realize the dharma and attain the Way in the assembly of
one teacher. . . . I believe this: it depends only on whether
one's aspiration is firmly determined or not. A person who arouses
true aspiration and studies as hard as his capacity allows will
not fail to attain the Way." "To arouse such an aspiration,
think deeply in your heart of the impermanence of the world.
It is not a matter of meditating using some provisional method
of contemplation. It is not a matter of facbricating in our
heads that which does not really exist. Impermanence is truly
the reality right in front of our eyes."
Wat Thai of Los Angeles
Purpose of Wat Thai
The purposes of establishing Wat Thai are mainly divided into
two categories. The specific and primary purposes are
to promote Buddhism in the United States, to establish a Buddhist
Temple school, and to found a monastery to operate as non-profit
corporation for the interchange of Buddhist information and
education between the United States and Thailand.
The general purpose and power are the promotion of the principles
of Buddhism. As it is practiced in Thailand and religious worship
in accordance with the doctrine thereof, to unite others of
their faith into one organization, to establish, erect, maintain
and thereafter conduct services in a Buddhist temple according
to the rites and rituals of the Buddhist religion. Erect and
maintain a school and monastery for teaching and practicing
Buddhism and to encourage attendance at lectures of religious
and educational character to raise funds for these activities
and to operate for charitable, religious and educational purpose.
The Emerald Buddha Image in the main assembly hall is considered
the masterpiece of Thai art. This image is a duplicate of the
original in Chapel Royal or Wat Phra Keo in Bangkok Thailand.
In Thai, it is known as Phra Budhamahamaneeratana Patimakorn.
It is not really made of emerald but of dark green jade of a
fariety found only in Siberia and near the borders of China
and Burma. It is about twenty-one and a half inches high and
fifteen and a half inches from knee to forehead, in 1854 AD
on large diamond base was added by King rama IV.
The actual origin of this image is not known, but there is an
expert opinion in recent years that it belongs to the later
Chiengsan period (13th-16th century AD). It was first heard
of in Chiengrai in the north of Thailand where it was covered
with cement and coated over with gold leaf to prevent its discovery
by hostile neighbors. It was placed in pagoda in Wat Phra Keo
In 1434 AD a thunderstorm destroyed the pagoda and the Buddha
was moved to another part of the temple. Very soon afterwards
the cement cracked, revealing the jade image inside. The matter
was reported to the King of Chiengmai who gave orders that the
image was to be conveyed by elephant to Chiengmai. In the square
of Lampang the elephant stopped and refused to proceed. The
King of Chiengmai decided to leave the image in Lampang where
the people built Wat Phra keoh Don Tao for it. It remained there
32 years. The King of Chiengmai then had the image removed to
Wat Jetiya Luang in Chiengmai where it remained for 80 years.
Chiengmai came in the dominion of Laos in 1551 AD an the image
was transferred to the Laos capital, Luang Prabang. 1564 AD,
due to the capital moved to Vientiane and the image was brought
along with it. There was trouble between King Tak Sin of Thonburi
and the King of Laos in 1778 AD. Chao Phraya Chakri, who later
became King Rama I, defeated the King of Laos an brought the
image to Thonburi where it was placed in the Phra Keoh Hall
which in now in the compound of the Naval Headquarters next
to Wat Arun. Then King Rama I moved the image from Thonburi
to Bangkok in 1782.
Ubosatha-Sala is generally known as Ubosoth-Sala or Main Assembly
Hall. It's plan was designed by the Religious Department in
Thailand and some parts of it's carved teak windows and doors
were imported from Thailand. it consists of two stories of Thai
architecture, 12 meters in width and 33 meters in length. It
is rectangular in shape with a portico at the front and sides
and has been recognized by the eight boundary stones surrounding
it. The multiple roofs give the impression of being superimposed
one upon another and the gable end of the roof thane a figure
or Bi-raka runningdown each edge. The curved finical at the
peak of the roof is the apex. The roof tiles are glazed and
set in designs in colors of red and green.
The main Assembly Hall is used to perform the religious functions
e.g. giving or donation. Reciting the disciplinary rules, morning
and evening chanting, meditation and conducting
birthday, wedding and funeral ceremonies. In the basement is
a library, dinning room and classroom. Regarding the construction,
on May 19, 1972 His holiness the Supreme patriarch, Somdej Phra
Wannarat of Wat Phra Chetuphon presided over the stone founding
ceremony of the building. Construction was begun in the same
year but it was delayed by many problems. In May 1974 construction
was begun on the lover part of the building and it was finished
in the same year.
In 1977 the construction of the building was again started on
the upper half by Ven. Phra Thepsophon who came as Abbot and
President of the temple in February 13, 1970, General Kriangsak
Chamananda, the Prime Minister of Thailand came to preside over
the roofing ceremony. The priests and the people mainly carried
out the construction at this latter stage. October 21, 1970
His Holiness the Supreme Patriarach came to officiate the apex-lifting
The main Buddha image in the main assembly hall is known as
"Phra Bud-dha-nor-thep-sas-da Dip-ya-na-ga-ra-sa-thit"
in blessing posture, whose casting ceremony was officiated by
His Majesty the King on December 22, 1979. On March 30 it was
brought to shrine at Wat Thai of Los Angeles. The consecration
ceremony was officiated on April 4-5, 1980, by His Holiness
the Supreme Patriarch, who offered a 7 tiered state to the Buddha
image. In this connection, the Thai International Airways Company
opened its first Bangkok-Los Angels, flight and acted as host
in the shipment of Buddha Image. In front of the main altar
are sets of red and gold tables on, which are placed flowers,
candles and incense sticks presented to the temple for warship
of The Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha.
(Living Quarter of Monks)
A house for monks is known as "Kuti" in Thai. One
of 9 Kutis was constructed in 1976 when Venerable Phra Mongkolrajamuni
was the chief of clerical staff. The board committee of Wat
Thai authorized a grant to rebuild a new residential area for
the monks. The new two-story "Kuti #1" has six bedrooms,
three restrooms, a living room and an office. On August 20,
1976, the monks moved in.
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