Wat Buddhawararam

Wat Buddhawararam of Denver is the only existing exception to the extended procedure of improvement of Thai Buddhist temples in the United States. It came into existence virtually overnight as a temple with monks in residence. Some intermediate actions, specifically the organization into a Buddhist association or a Buddhist center, had been passed over. This might have been mainly simply because this temple was established at a time when visits of monks from Thailand and the availability of Thai monks residing in some parts of the United’States had been no longer of intense rarity, and when the organizers could discover considerably from the experience of other current temples.

It occurred that in the middle of 2518/1975, while a senior monk from Bangkok, accompanied by 3 other monks, was visiting Thai temples and Thai communities in diverse parts of the United States, a follower of his who resided in Denver, invited him and the accompanying monks to make a quit at Denver. For the duration of their quick keep in Denver, there was a huge gathering of Thai individuals who, getting overjoyed at the news of an arrival of a group of Thai monks, came to pay respects to the monks and participate in a merit-generating ceremony. Being impressed by the faith of the individuals and their enthusiasm to participate in such a Buddhist religious and cultural activity, the venerable senior monk recommended the founding of a Thai Buddhist temple in Denver. The notion was warmly welcomed and the assembled people assured him of their earnest intention and cooperation. He also assured them that he would supply monks and essential religious articles.

Shortly right after the 2519/1976 New Year’s Day celebration, a meeting of Thai people in Colorado was convened to contemplate the proposal for the founding of a Thai Buddhist temple in Denver and the buy of a Salvation Army church as the internet site for the temple. Good resolutions were passed and a committee was formed to implement the project. On March 25, 1976, the establishment of a Thai Buddhist temple with an official name of ‘Wat Buddhawararam of Denver, Inc.’ was legalized by a Certificate of Incorporation granted under the Colorado Nonprofit Corporation Act. On March 31, 1976, a promissory note was signed for the one particular-year-strategy obtain of the Salvation Army Church on a three tenths of an acre plot of land at Julian Street in Denver at the cost of $ 50,000. On April 13, 1976, the identical day as the celebration of the Thai conventional Songkran or water-festival, Thai monks took residence at the Temple, formerly the church constructing, marking the starting of the Denver Temple activities.

However, the number of the men and women in Denver and nearby areas is comparatively quite small, about 500 or 600. The payment of $ 50,000 for the buy price tag of the building under a one particular-year-contract seemed to be too heavy a burden for such a small neighborhood. For that reason, a huge component of the amount had to be sought from contributions by devoted individuals elsewhere, specifically these in Thailand and large U.S. cities like New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. Soon after strenuous efforts had been made to raise the required funds to make the payment on schedule, it turned out that contributions produced by devotees in Thailand exceeded by one third the total amount of payment.

In the Vassa of 2520/1977, the total number of monks in residence at Wat Buddhawararam of Denver was six.
Wat Buddhawararam is normally quiet due to the small nearby Thai community. There are fairly few participants in day-to-day merit-generating ceremonies, and at ceremonial gatherings at the Temple. Its stunning suburban setting with a lake and a park in the foreground and the Rocky Mountains crowned with silvery snow seen from afar in the background adds to its peaceful atmosphere favorable to meditation. The only complaint might be a noisy highway just in front of the Temple. Provided this background of peaceful atmosphere and the infrequent involvement of Thai people in day-to-day activities, its monk-executives have a policy to concentrate on conducting Buddhist activities of the Temple with the emphasis on providing meditation instruction and the propagation of the Buddha’s doctrine to native Americans or English-speaking folks. Accordingly, a class in Insight Meditation was opened on the 1st day of the 1st Vassa period of the Temple and, except for the celebration of some conventional holy days and holidays, was the initial Buddhist activity to be held at Wat Buddhawararam. The periodical of the Temple, ‘Journal of Wat Buddhawararam’ cites among its objectives the encouragement of Insight Meditation Practice. Apart from meditation, the Temple runs Buddhist Sunday college classes for kids and Thai language classes for adults. Every single 3 months considering that July 1977, getting been invited by the Ogden Air Force Base in Utah, the Temple has been sending two monks there to conduct Buddhist services for some 300 or 400 Thai females who are married to US military personnel. Buddhist holy days and some Thai classic festivals are also observed and celebrated both for religious and for cultural purposes.