Many people think that money, friends, cars and food bring happiness. By looking more deeply into your thoughts some people find these things actually bring suffering and many problems. Buddhists believe that developing and maintaining inner peace is the only way to feel truly happy. This can be accomplished through spiritual practices which reduce and eliminate disturbed, negative thoughts giving way to peacefulness and positivity. Nirvana or inner peace can be experienced in life as well as in the afterlife where the true meaning of our lives will emerge and show itself.
In the UK there are many Buddhist temples where believers or non believers in the Lord Buddha can go to pray or just to contemplate.
- The Forest Hermitage – this is a branch of Wat Nong Pah Pong, a monastery in north east Thailand. This peaceful hermitage can be found in the heart of England where monks live and work. There are often events that the public can attend to see how monks, nuns and devotees of the Lord Buddha are at peace with the world.
- Rural Devon – Hartridge Monastery can be found here. It’s a community for monks and novices who practice the Theravada tradition of
Buddhism. Visitors often find their way to this beautiful sanctuary where there’s peaceful woodland, accommodation and a warm welcome.
- St Andrew’s Church in the North East of England – Buddhist services at this church are often held at weekends. A meditation centre and temple are planned to be built at this local landmark which was erected in 1872. The head monk, Phra Nicholas Thanissaro is proud that part of St Andrew’s is going to be devoted to Buddhism and all it teaches.
- Wimbledon, London – the first Buddhist temple in the UK was built in Wimbledon. With monks strolling around the grounds, wildlife and beautiful flowers surrounding the temple, you’ll definitely feel you are in Thailand. The amazing temple is ornate with lots of gold leaf adorning both the outer and inner walls. For a moment of peaceful tranquility, make the Buddhapadipa Temple your first port of call when in London.
- Glasgow is home to Scotland’s only Buddhist temple called Vihara. It’s not just a temple but also offers the community courses, events and teachings of the Lord Buddha to Scottish and Asian people. It was first established in 2001, has meditation classes and puja, the act of worship, every week.