Wat Thai of Washington D.C.

Wat Thai of Washington, D.C. is viewed as having been founded, informally, when two monks who were invited from Thailand arrived and took residence on July 5, 2517/1974, at a suburban residence at 705 Wayne Avenue in Silver Spring. This residence was rented by the Buddhist Association in Washington, D.C. for monks’ residence and for use as a seat of Buddhist activities of the Association.

The Buddhist Association in Washington, D.C., the owner of the property, is in turn the outgrowth of a Buddhist group which was formed in the middle of 2514/1971 to conduct Buddhist activities and to advance the lead to of Buddhism. The Buddhist Association was granted a Certificate of Incorporation on November 20, 2517/1974, turning it into a legal entity below the District of Columbia Non-profit Corporation Act, thus marking its official establishment. At that time, the efforts of the Association have been focused on the collection of funds for the founding of a Thai Buddhist temple or, to be precise, a residence for monks who would participate in Buddhist ceremonies and services on a variety of religious and cultural occasions and conduct other Buddhist activities. Till the coming of the two monks in July 2517/1974, Thai Buddhists in Washington D.C. and nearby locations usually resorted to the Washington Buddhist Vihara at 5017-16th Street, N.W., Washington D.C. and its incumbent Ceylonese monks for Buddhist observances, celebrations and religious services. The arrival of monks from Thailand made possible the overall performance of Buddhist activities completely in accordance with Thai cultural traditions. Due to the shortage of funds, even so, the residence, which was the first web site of the so-referred to as temple on a 8,618 square-foot plot of land, had to be rented for a lengthy period of time.

In June 2519/1976, the Buddhist Association signed an agreement for the purchase of the house at the cost of $ 52,500 and created a ten% deposit, turning it into the house of the Association. On July 7, 2519/1976, a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Buddhist Association was held and a resolution was passed to the effect that the name of the Temple be changed to ‘Wat Buddhamonkol’. The name has not yet come into public usage.

In 2523/1980, a bigger home on a 31,000 square-foot plot of land at Georgia Avenue in Silver Spring was purchased at the price of $ 240,000 and the temple was moved to the new web site on the seventh of December of the same year.

During the Vassa period of 2520/1977, there have been two monks in residence at Wat Thai of Washington, D.C.
As the capital of the country, Washington, D.C. is the house of diplomatic officials. There are comparatively couple of Thai of other professions and occupations. In addition to Thai diplomatic officials, these who frequent the Temple are largely students, who, in comparison with those in other big cities, are not several. The Temple is quiet most of the day and on most days of the week. Its activities concentrate primarily on the observance and celebration of annual Buddhist holy days and Thai standard holidays. The Temple also welcomes inquiries place, from time to time, by devoted lay persons and interested occasional visitors. It provides them with answers and explanations on different points of the Buddha’s teaching and on meditation both in theory and in practice. The month-to-month magazine of the Temple, known as ‘Saeng Dhamma’, contains a assortment of articles on the Dharma, most of which are in Thai, and news and info about the activities of the Temple.

In September 2519/1976, monks from Wat Thai were invited to participate in a system for oriental wives of military personnel at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. The plan was set up by the chaplain there. According to him, “There are numerous oriental females right here, largely Thais who are married to military personnel”. Considering that that time, after a month, two monks from Wat Thai Washington, D.C. conduct worship services, teach and counsel at the Dover chapel. Some 50 households participate. At Homestead Air Force base in Florida, a similar system has been established for Thai wives of military personnel there and other nearby Thai people. However, due to the distance, the monks from Wat Thai go there a lot more infrequently.
Sabung Ayam
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