31st Anniversary Celebration of Wat Greensboro Buddhist Center

We celebrated the 31st Anniversary Celebration of Wat Greensboro Buddhist Center in Greensboro, North Carolina last Sunday, March 19, 2017.  Back in the 80s, we had a very small Buddhist community in this area. We fled from our war-torn countries, some immigrated from Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos. The Thai community was small in the 80s. We couldn’t speak each other’s languages but what we have in common is the belief of the Buddhist teachings. The original founders rented a house for 2 years, then purchased this place 31 years ago. We are fortunate to have Ven. Phramaha Somsak Sambimb as the temple abbot that fluently speaks Khmer, Thai and English. Wat  Greensboro welcomes members, visitors, and educators that seek to practice and learn more about the Buddhist teachings.

We have generous members that donated to the temple building fund. We recently had a new roof installed last year, a new carport for the holiday events’ vendors installed this year, the paving is a work in progress.

We have completed the men and women’s bathrooms project on January 1, 2017.

We have volunteers that help make these projects possible and also help cleaning up the temple ground on the weekends. The temple sits on a 10 arcs lot and during the clean up the crew members found an old Spirit house that has been hidden from view of the overgrown bamboo trees. We are thankful for all the work that they have done for the temple and their dedications to make Wat Greensboro great again.

The 31st Anniversary service was held in the Buddha’s room.

Alms-giving

The foods prepared for the monks.

Money offering to the temple and monks.

Ven. Phramaha Somsak Sambimb giving the sermon.

Pouring water merit making ceremony.

Offering foods to the monks.

We have young dancers practicing for the upcoming Songkran event in April, looking forward to seeing them perform.

Thank you for your interest in reading this post.

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1st Sart Festival (Kanben) or Merit Making Transference at Wat Greensboro

We celebrated 1st Sart Thai Festival at Wat Greensboro on Sunday, September 18, 2016. The temple called it small Sart day, and the big Sart day will be in 2 weeks. Sart day is a Buddhist tradition where it’s a memorial day for the dead, it is a time to remember dead relatives and merit making on their behalves. This is a belief that once a year the hell gates open for 15 days for the deceased ancestors to visit their living relatives. Lao people called it Boun Kao Padap Din where the Laotians also believe that once a year the hell gates open for souls in hell to come visit the living world. People would leave foods around the temple gates or under big trees as offering to the spirits.

Almsgiving

Foods offering to the monks.

Please see more photos at Wat Greensboro’s Facebook 1st Sart Festival (Kanben) or Merit Making Transference

Songkran Festival 2016 at Wat Greensboro

We celebrated a Southeast Asian New Year at our local temple Wat Greensboro last Sunday April 17, 2016. The celebration was later than the actual New Year celebration which was celebrated on April 13 to the 15th in Southeast Asia, it’s celebrated for 3 days.

Cups of sand were prepared for Jaydee Cide or sand stupas.

There were plenty of foods brought in by worshipers to offer to the monks.

The traditional morning Almsgiving of offering foods to the monks.

The vendors were busy, many food vendors donated their profits to the temple.

It’s a tradition to visit your elders and pour water over their hands and wish them good health and happiness for the New Year and this year we took the opportunity to do it at the temple. It’s nice to be able to pass down the tradition to the younger generations.

I’m always behind the camera and this time my sister offered to take the picture for me. I’m glad I handed her my camera, this image is priceless.

We also pour water over Buddha images for blessing and cleansing the rust from our hearts and souls and wish a good year of health and prosperity.

The traditional Khmer dancers.

I normally don’t do a video without my tripod and my reading glasses but I don’t think that still photos will do justice. The video is a bit shaky and not as sharp as I like for it to be, hope you will enjoy watching these young dancers.

Please visit Wat Greensboro’s Facebook to see more photos of Songkran Festival 2016.

Songkran Festival 2014 at Wat Greensboro

We celebrated a Southeast Asian New Year at our local temple Wat Greensboro on Sunday April 13, 2014. We had a good turnout and the weather was exceptionally nice, it was in the 80s. Songkran is one of the biggest events at our temple. It is the time of the year for a new beginning, and for some of us it is the time to wash away the rust that has been clinging to our hearts and souls, learning to let go of the past and to start fresh with the new beginning. I am the temple photographer and do love the colorful and rich culture of the event.

Some photos were converted to black and white due to the orange cover above making everyone’s faces looking orange.

People brought in foods to offer to monks, we only had three monks holding the service so there were plenty of foods for all of us.

For the love of photography you can’t have enough photography gear. P’Odd carries this many gears on a regular basis, perhaps this might be on his light side.

The photo below was taken by P’Odd. It was nice of him to offer to take a picture of me pouring water on the monk’s hand.

We songk nom pra or pour water over monk’s hands for blessing.

This young man asked the monk to bless his tattoos.

I think it’s still debatable if tattoo is just a body art or a cultural sacred design.

Jaydee Cide or sand stupas.

Lee has grown so much this year.

Looking back to the time when she was 6 year old, these two photos below were taken in 2008.

Lee paid homage to the birthday Buddha status or the Day Buddha status.

Time has changed, but this temple remains the same sacred ground for us.

Instead of splashing water, shaving cream is still popular in this part of the country.

Khmer classical dance

I’ve posted more photos at Wat Greensboro’s Facebook page, please click here to see more Songkran Day Festival 2014 photos.

The Buddhist Lent Day at Wat Greensboro

Sunday July 21, 2013 was the Buddhist Lent Day at our local temple Wat Greensboro. It is called Kao Punsa for the locals and it’s the tradition of Buddhist Lent or the annual three-month Rains Retreat known in Laos and Thailand as Punsa, which dated back to the early Buddhism in ancient India, this is the time where monks spent three months of the annual rainy season in permanent dwellings. This is to avoid unnecessary traveling during the period when crops were still new for fear that they might accidentally step on young plants. In the ancient time, the Lord Buddha left earth for 3 months to visit his mother up in heaven, he wanted to show his gratitude by chanting for her during this Lent period. It is also considered inauspicious to get married or move house during the Lent period, and after the end of the Lent period then the calendar is open for weddings.

My alms bowl.

This year we have a brand new orange shade cover, and it’s eye catching from a distance. When I took my first alm’s shot, I’ve noticed right away that people’s faces were orange color. I thought to myself that this can’t be good. I worked to adjust the color for this image below, but it’s still too orange to me.

I tried to adjust the remaining alms giving photos, but it was impossible for me to do so. My only solution was to convert the photos to black and white.

We offered meal to the monk after alms giving.

Dragon fruits

The Buddhist sermon.

I

Buddhist Lent ceremony,

My dad eating meal with friends.

The bathroom construction is coming along slowly.

I was happy to see the roof gone up, and hoping that we’ll get to use it by Kathin in November of this year.