Wat Nawamintararachutis (The NMR Buddhist Meditation Center)

This profile was last updated in 2013

History

In the late 1990s, a group of Thai families living in the Boston area became interested in founding a TheravadaTheravada, literally “the way of the elders,” was one of the eighteen earliest sub-schools of Buddhism. Today, the term designates the various traditions of Buddhism most prominent in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia. Although these traditions differ in i... Buddhist templeBuddhist temples differ considerably from one another depending upon culture and particular school, but most are associated with the residence of the sangha of monks. Theravada temples focus on one or more images of Sakyamuni Buddha. In Mahayana and Vajra... in honor of the Thai monarch RamaRama is the virtuous king and hero of the Hindu epic Ramayana. He is also considered the seventh avatara of Vishnu. He is often worshipped flanked by his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana, with the faithful monkey Hanuman kneeling before him. IX, Bhumibhol Adulyadej, who was born at Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge on December 5, 1927. The group enlisted the support of Phra Promwachirayan, abbotAn abbot or abbess is the title of the superior of a monastery or convent. Some scholars and practitioners have used these titles to apply to the ranking monk or nun of a Buddhist monastic community as well. of the Royal WatA wat (Thai) or watt (Cambodian) is a Buddhist temple-monastic complex. Thai and Cambodian temples typically have two sections, one in which both monks and laity worship the Buddha, and the other reserved for the monastic community. The former typically i... Yannawa in Bangkok, who had helped establish Wat Dhammaram in Chicago, Illinois and was developing other Thai Buddhist templesBuddhist temples differ considerably from one another depending upon culture and particular school, but most are associated with the residence of the sangha of monks. Theravada temples focus on one or more images of Sakyamuni Buddha. In Mahayana and Vajra... in the United States. Wat Nawamintararachutis was founded on August 1, 2002 in Boston as a Theravada Buddhist templeA temple is a house of worship, a sacred space housing the deity or central symbol of the tradition. The Temple in Jerusalem was the holy place of the Jewish people until its destruction by the Romans in 70 CE; now the term “temple” is used by th. Ref... of the Mahanikaya sect and is registered as a nonprofit organization: the NMR Buddhist MeditationMeditation is the disciplined practice of quieting and focusing the mind or cultivating the heart’s attention. Different meditation practices commend focusing attention on a word, a prayer, a form, or the breath as a way of practice. Meditation is commo... Center. The temple’s name itself is a composite of several Sanskrit words, meaning “the Temple of King Rama the Ninth of the Chakri Dynasty.” For convenience the temple is called simply “Wat Nawamin.” The temple community struggled to find a proper facility for a decade, located briefly in Boston, Braintree, Quincy, Waltham, and Watertown. In April 2006, after much searching and fundraising, the community purchased a 55 acre property in Raynham, Massachusetts. The community recently constructed a large 60 million dollar Thai-inspired temple, cultural center, and monasteryA monastery is the residence of monks, or monastics; the term is commonly used in both the Christian and Buddhist traditions. Monasticism refers to the life of work, study, and discipline led by monks and nuns.. The building opened June 11-15, 2014 and simultaneously hosted the annual council of Thai Bikkhus in the U.S. Wat Nawamin is the largest Thai Buddhist temple outside of Thailand. The design for the temple was created in a combined effort between Venerable Phra Promwachirayan and Architectural Resources Cambridge (ARC). It’s distinctive multi-tiered gables are characteristic of traditional Thai templesA temple is a house of worship, a sacred space housing the deity or central symbol of the tradition. The Temple in Jerusalem was the holy place of the Jewish people until its destruction by the Romans in 70 CE; now the term “temple” is used by th. Ref... with adjustments to better suit Massachusetts weather conditions.

Description

Wat Nawamin is located on an expansive 55 acre property in Raynham, Massachusetts. Formerly housed in a  small New England style farmhouse, the monksA monk is a man who renounces worldly life and is ordinarily a member of a monastic order or community, thereby undertaking a special commitment to study, service, asceticism, prayer, or disciplined spiritual practice. In the Buddhist tradition, fully ord... moved to their newly constructed  living quarters in September of 2013.  The newly constructed complex is comprised of six major elements: Ubosoth Hall, Meditation Hall, Monks Residence Hall (including a room for Phra Promwachirayan), a Multi-Purpose Hall (which houses a large golden BuddhaBuddha means “awakened one” and specifically refers to Shakyamuni Buddha, also known as Siddhartha Gautama (traditional date, sixth c. BCE), the historical founder of the tradition that became known as Buddhism. All Buddhist traditions agree that ther... statue), a museum/library and a central courtyard. At the center of the complex is a three story golden Chedi (steeple). This prominent feature, at a height of 185 feet, pays tribute to Buddha. The complex will also include conference rooms, office space, rooms for Thai language and cultural instruction, and kitchen facilities.

Services and Outreach

A majority of the resident monks were trained at the SanghaThe Sangha is the community of monks or, more broadly, the community of Buddhists. To formally become a Buddhist, one takes refuge in the Three Treasures: the Buddha, Dharma (the Buddha’s teachings), and Sangha. In its widest sense, “sangha” refers ... University in Bangkok, Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University, to serve Thai communities abroad. The resident monks host hour-long meditation and chanting services daily in the early morning and evening. They also have a Sunday School program to teach the precepts of BuddhismBuddhism is a multi-hued tradition of life, thought, and practice that has developed from the teaching and practice of Siddhartha Gautama (6th century BCE) who came to be called the Buddha, the awakened one. The three major streams of the tradition—Ther... to children. The temple also serves as a Thai-American cultural center offering lessons on Thai culture, etiquette and language, and instruction for traditional Thai music and dance. All of these services are open to the public. Throughout the year, the community hosts about a dozen events to celebrate Buddhist holy days and Thai cultural holidays. These include the Thai New Year, Songkran, KatinaKathina is a fall festival, especially important in the Theravada Buddhist tradition, during which new robes are presented to ordained monks and nuns., the Queen’s birthday (Thailand’s mother’s day), the King’s birthday (Thailand’s father’s day), and Loy Krathong.  In 2007, a children’s summer program was started at the temple. Around 30 children attend the camp. Activities include chanting, meditation, dharmaDharma means religion, religious duty, religious teaching. The word dharma comes from a Sanskrit root meaning “to uphold, support, bear,” thus dharma is that order of things which informs the whole world, from the laws of nature to the inner workings ... talks, singing, Thai language lessons, Thai musical instrument training, and Thai dance lessons. There is hope of establishing a university for Buddhist studies at the Wat Nawamin complex.

Demographics

Wat Nawamintararachutis draws the majority of its members from the Thai community of New England but a small percentage of members are Lao-, Khmer-, Vietnamese- and Euro-American.

Date Center Founded

1990s

Religious Leader and Title

Phrakhru Palat Suwatthanawachirakhun ( Mongkol Kuakool ): Head of Monks, Vice President

Membership

Weekly visitors vary. The temple attracts upwards of 500 people for larger ceremonies.

Ethnic Composition

Wat Nawamintararachutis draws the majority of its members from the Thai community of New England but a small percentage of members are Lao-, Khmer-, Vietnamese- and Euro-American.