The site I visited was the Wat Buddharangsi Buddhist Temple in Homestead where they practice Theravada Buddhism. The reason I decided to visit the temple was because I have recently taken up an interest in Buddhism and their teachings of enlightenment and nirvana. When I first visited the temple I felt very awkward and out of place. I was not very sure how to proceed. So I decided to go around taking in the temples surroundings. The temple itself was extraordinary. It was like nothing I had ever seen before. I honestly felt like I was in another world, it did not feel like I was in South Florida. Unfortunately, the first time I visited I was not allowed to enter the temple because they were hosting an event for some sort of voting.
The second time I went I did get to get a bit more involved and actually enter the temple. Like the first time though the outside of the temple was just as outstanding but the inside was jaw dropping with the huge golden Buddha statue at the front. When I entered I took off my shoes and then kind of stood at the entrance staring until a stranger explained to me what to do. I went in grabbed a meditation mat or a zafu and went to sit in front of the statue of Buddah. Sitting there I looked around and observed everything. I was actually amazed at the diversity within those walls, the amounts of different people that were there meditating was shocking. One of the hardest things though throughout my visit there, especially since we were in South Florida, was the fact that there was no air conditioning within the temple. The reason as to why they had every door open though, was not because the air conditioning was broken, but because they believed that it helped improve their process of meditation, it helped improve breathing and clear the mind.
After a while of sitting there I actually attempted to meditate it surprised me how at ease I felt. The entire atmosphere of the temple was calm and peaceful. The entire time I felt so relaxed and eventually all of my unease went away. Before leaving I did speak with one of the visitor helpers to get more information on when rituals were and whether or not I could attend.
Overall my experience at the temple was very nice and enlightening. It was amazing how welcoming everybody was, nobody gave me any judgmental looks on the contrary they were all very excited to invite me in. With the short amount of time I spent there I really did learn a lot and I cannot wait to go back and meet with different people to get more information on their division of Buddhism and to attend their rituals. I am so excited to go back and continue my adventure of delving into their religion and being surrounding by such positive energy.