Site Visit Journal: Watt Buddharangsi Buddhist Temple

I visited the Wat Buddharangsi Buddhist Temple which is located in Homestead. I honestly didn’t know much about the religion of Buddhism before this visit so this was a reason I chose to go. I am personally Muslim so this religion is a lot different than what I believe in but it is very interesting to learn about different ways of thinking and different ways of life. So I went the temple earlier this week with a fellow classmate, we went right after class.

I was actually kind of nervous going to this temple because I had no idea what to expect, going with someone else helped though. We got there after awhile of driving and we saw the beautiful temple, the temple building is beautifully crafted and the gold looks really nice. There were lots of statues around the temple too. We parked and walked around, we saw three other students who were also from FIU but they were leaving just as we arrived. We peaked inside the temple and saw lots of statues decorated through out but we decided not to go in yet because there was no one inside and we wanted permission first. So we went to the next building and we saw a monk sitting in there polishing some type of wooden block, we told him we were there to learn about the religion so he got up and told another monk to help us.

The monk walked us to a table and sat us down. The monks were dressed in their traditional garbs. He started telling us about the religion. To be honest I could not understand him very well but I did pick up some things. He was explaining about the life of Siddhartha also known as Buddha and about karma, which is a big part of the religion. Also he told us about how they lead their lives. There weren’t any rituals going on at the moment but he did invite us to one later on another day so we felt very welcomed and comfortable. We will go back that day to see the chanting and meditation. He talked for a while than told us that we can walk around for ourselves and look at anything we want.

The Monks at the temple were very nice and friendly and our talk with the Monk was very open and free. They weren’t looking at us like outsiders or annoyances. So after that we walked around for a bit more and looked at the Bodhi Tree which was the type of tree were the Buddha meditated. Next to the tree there was the whole story of Buddha. After that we left. What impacted me the most was that these people dedicating their life to such a different lifestyle than what we are use to in this modern age. Its amazing how religions shape peoples lives, there are so many and all of them effect the people in different ways. Overall I had a great experience and learned a lot. I will be going back to learn even more and experience the rituals.

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