A little bit of Thailand, just outside Boston

This will be the largest Thai Buddhist temple outside of Bangkok. It’s being built right now a little outside Boston, in Raynham, Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Thai Buddhist temple topped off

Monks in saffron robes chanted a traditional blessing as the uppermost steel girder was hoisted 100 feet in the air and placed atop what will be the largest Thai Buddhist temple outside of Bangkok and the tallest structure in Raynham. [See previous stories for the background.]

“As a Buddhist, there is great merit in participating in building this beautiful temple, not just for the Thai people but for all mankind,” said architect Been Z. Wang of Architectural Resources Cambridge at the “topping off” ceremony Thursday morning for the NMR Meditation Center at 382 South Street East.

Dignitaries from Thailand, members of the local …

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East meets West: Thai Buddhist temple in Raynham will be biggest outside of Bangkok

September 30, 2011

Rebecca Hyman: Several years ago, one of the highest-level Buddhist monks in Thailand and an advisor to the king was driving around Boston looking for inspiration for a massive meditation center to be built in Raynham when he laid eyes on the Genzyme building on the Charles River and said, “This is the image of my temple.”

“He wanted East to meet West,” said Architect Been Wang, who designed Genzyme and the meditation center that broke ground on South Street East last week and will be the largest Thai Buddhist temple outside of Bangkok.

The royal temple, Wat Nawamintararachutis, also known as the…

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Not a joke: Barbie’s 2011 dream house has solar panels, meditation room

August 4, 2011

The American Institute of Architects has announced the winner of its Barbie Dream House competition: a four-story, eco-friendly Malibu manse with signature pink sliding doors.

AIA hosted the contest to promote Mattel’s latest addition to its “I Can Be …” series, Architect Barbie, who can be seen here in full professional garb: chunky glasses, construction hat, and outdated, hot-pink document holder. Competition entries were winnowed down to five finalists before being put to a public vote, with the winning house, by recent Harvard master’s grads Ting Li and Maja Paklar, snagging 8,470 votes. In their submission form, Li and Paklar describe Architect Barbie as upholding…

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Buddhist community opens new meditation centre in Brno, Czech Republic

March 21, 2011

The local Buddhist community has built a new meditation centre in Brno, the Moravian capital and the Czech Republic’s second largest city with a population of 500,000, Marketa Blazejovska, from the community, has told CTK.

The new building worth 24 million crowns, named the Diamond Path House, has replaced the Buddhist community’s old headquarters, situated elsewhere, that had run out of capacity and could not be extended.

A half of the new building’s costs were financed from a grant, and the rest from an interest-free loan from a private foundation.

The debt has been repaid through donations from the centre members and supporters from the…

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Czech Republic and … Read more »

New eco-monastery at Buddha’s birthplace

March 9, 2011

On 4 April 2011, Dr. Trungram Gyaltrul Rinpoche will preside over the opening of the Lumbini Udyana Mahachaitya, World Centre for Peace and Unity, the latest and largest Buddhist temple and meditation hall complex to be built at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) World Heritage Site in Lumbini, Nepal. (Lumbini is the birthplace of the Buddha in Nepal; Udyana is a Sanskrit word that means garden or orchard; and Mahachaitya is the Sanskrit word for Great Stupa.)

Mahachaitya is the latest addition to a master-planned monastic community that envisions more than 40 Buddhist temples in different national styles to be built near where Prince Siddhartha Guatama, the Buddha, was born … Read more »

A rolling cube adds living and meditation space to a loft

February 12, 2011

There was a time when Liu Ming, a teacher of Chinese traditional medicine and feng shui in Oakland, Calif., did a few hundred prostrations a day as part of his practice of Tibetan Buddhism — full prostrations, that is, in which you begin standing and end with your head on the floor. That wouldn’t work these days, as Liu’s meditation area is on top of an 8-foot cube in his loft. Were he to stand up, Liu would hit his head on the ceiling.

To move about the meditation area, which also serves as a tearoom, Liu has to slouch or crawl. That’s fine with him: In a traditional Japanese tearoom, the ceilings are so … Read more »

Buddhist temple project may begin in spring

December 17, 2010

A plan to build a Thai Buddhist temple in Columbus, Ohio, is far from dead. In fact, construction on the temple could begin in the spring.

Representatives of the Columbus Buddhism Center have submitted paperwork to the city requesting a lot split for property on Blacks Road.

They also have submitted new paperwork outlining possible plans for the temple.

John Tai, a representative from the Columbus Buddhism Center, could not be reached for comment on the temple project because he is out of the country, but Pataskala Planning Director Diane Harris said she has spoken to Tai and the project is moving forward.

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Spiritual materialism

November 24, 2010

The Winnipeg Free Press has a article on creating personal spaces in your home — often at great expense — for “hobbies” such as Star Wars, bowling, and meditation. Yup, meditation is now apparently a “hobby” akin to rolling a ball down a polished surface in order to knock down some pieces of wood. As descriptions of meditation go, this one is something of a gutter ball.

Time was when someone might create a place to meditate with some floor cushions, a CD player and fragrant candles.

Lori Dennis, a Los Angeles interior designer, said she frequently gets asked to design something quite different: chic, very expensive meditation rooms. Ones with “expensive luxuries like $200

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Monks in their midst

November 10, 2010

In a stretch of suburban Raynham, a community of ascetics is planning what may be the largest Thai Buddhist temple in the hemisphere

A quiet neighborhood along Raynham’s South Street East is slated to have an unlikely addition soon to its mix of modest homes and small businesses: an ornate Thai Buddhist wat, or temple, the likes of which won’t be found anywhere outside of Thailand, according to its principal designing architect.

The temple, to be called Wat Nawamintararachutis, or NMR Center, will celebrate the life of Thailand’s current monarch, who was born in a Cambridge hospital in 1927. Because of the Boston area’s connection to the king, the project has generated great interest both … Read more »