Tuesday, January 1, 2008

The Buddhist Monks of Saxonville

Framingham has long been known as a town of racial, ethnic, and religious diversity. But did you know it's now home to a Buddhist temple with resident monks?

The New England Buddhist Vihara and Meditation Center has been located in an ordinary-looking 19th century house on a quiet street in Saxonville for over a year. Staffed by resident monks from Sri Lanka, the center primarily ministers to Sri Lankans living in the New England region, but also has a small following of Americans of other backgrounds who meditate and study Buddhism with the monks on Wednesday evenings.

The three resident monks, led by Bhante Dhammajothi, practice and teach Theravadan Buddhism, which is the dominant form of Buddhism in Sri Lanka and throughout Southeast Asia. While the monks live an ascetic lifestyle at the temple, they are also integrating themselves into the community, take English lessons at a Saxonville church, and are seen walking around Saxonville in their distinctive rust-colored robes. So if you see any of them in your travels around town, say hello and give a hearty welcome to the Buddhist monks of Saxonville.


MacGeek said...

Thanks for solving a mystery for the staff of McAuliffe Library. The monks often visit; we knew that they lived nearby, as we have seen them walking to and from the library, but we had no idea that there is an established Buddhist Center in Sax. The monks bring with them a sense of peace and serenity that translates into improved behavior among the sometimes rambunctious teens; the staff is charmed by the monk's sweet nature and their appreciation for the help they receive.

The Hamster said...

Glad to see the monks are taking advantage of the library! They are very keen to improve their English.

Indeed, their serenity is infectious. I have spent lots of time with them at the temple, but it's wonderful to hear of their positive impact on the community in general.