Center Profile

Wat Nawamintararachutis (The NMR Buddhist Meditation Center) (2013)

Thai (Buddhism)
382 South Street East
Raynham MA 02767
Phone: 508-823-1800
Fax: 508-823-1775

Websites:


Photographs:


About

Wat Nawamintararachutis was founded on August 1, 2002 in Boston as a Theravada Buddhist temple of the Mahanikaya sect and is registered as a nonprofit organization: the NMR Buddhist Meditation Center.

Description

History

In the late 1990s, a group of Thai families living in the Boston area became interested in founding a Theravada Buddhist temple in honor of the Thai monarch Rama IX, Bhumibhol Adulyadej, who was born at Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge on December 5, 1927. The group enlisted the support of Phra Promwachirayan, abbot of the Royal Wat Yannawa in Bangkok, who had helped establish Wat Dhammaram in Chicago, Illinois and was developing other Thai Buddhist temples in the United States. Wat Nawamintararachutis was founded on August 1, 2002 in Boston as a Theravada Buddhist temple of the Mahanikaya sect and is registered as a nonprofit organization: the NMR Buddhist Meditation 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 monastery. 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 temples 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 monks 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 Buddha 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 Sangha 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 Buddhism 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, Katina, 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, dharma 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.

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 up to 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.