SHROUDED in mystery but always open to those wanting to expand their horizons, the Buddhist temple in Knaphill welcomed guests to their illustrious halls on Sunday.
Members of the community turned up in force to seek the pearls of wisdom offered by the Dhammakaya Temple in Brushfield Way.
The particular approach practiced in Knaphill, Thai Dhammakaya Buddhism was founded in Thailand by Phra Mongkhonthe-pmuni in 1917, who taught the virtues of patience, respect and discipline.
Event co-ordinator, Kruaean Sookcharoen, explained: “The importance of meditation is to be mindful. To teach oneself inner peace takes time, and through mediation this can be achieved. The colour white is always warn by Buddhists as it reminds them of peacefulness and keeps them in that state the whole time they wear the colour.”
The open day started with a tour and later offered interactive activities, history lessons, a children’s activity area and, of course, the main attraction – the adult mediation area.
The temple, which was founded nine years again, is the proud headquarters for the Dhammakaya International Society in England.
There are 15 other Thai Buddhist temples in England, which serve a pop-ulation of more than 30,000 Thai people and thousands of other British residents interested in Buddhism.
Kruaean said: “Buddhism has become more and more popular in the West. The teachings can be very beneficial to people looking to de-stress, as in the modern life people need to slow down more than ever.”
There is a ceremony held on the first Sunday of every month at the temple, which is synchronised with the meditations in Bangkok. The identifying feature of Dhammakaya meditation is the user’s attention towards the centre of the body.
The promoters of this approach say this is the same point as the end point of the deepest breath in mindfulness of breathing meditation.
Mrs Sookcharoen added: “If we ask ourselves ‘are we truly happy?’ and ‘are we truly free from anxiety or stress?’, the answer would be no. “Education may help our careers but it is the Dhamma or Buddha’s teaching that will relieve our stress and release us from doubt.
“The aim of this day is to introduce many people who have not practiced mediation techniques.”