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First Buddhist Temple on the Isle of Man Opens to the Public

August 8, 2023

On December 11th, a Buddhist temple opened in the Isle of Man, a small self-governing island in the Irish Sea between Ireland and Britain.

The new temple at Baldrine, as reported by the Isle of Man Today, provides a place of worship, spiritual instruction, and a warm community for Buddhists and others interested in meditation and Thai culture.

“For the fairly large Thai community here, the temple is of great importance,” said Venerable Maha Gone, a Buddhist monk from Thailand who officiated over the opening ceremony for Wat Mahathat. “As a monk, I am supposed to be a leader and a guide. But the legalities are handled by a board of trustees and a group of lay supporters, even if I am ‘in charge’ and have a say in the temple’s development and choices. (Today on the Isle of Man)

Meditation classes are available in the new temple, and they can help people find inner peace, clarity, and wisdom. Those who take a more active role in these discussions may get new insights into life’s most fundamental truths.

“A Buddhist temple is a place to learn the brilliant, psychologically sound, profoundly liberating, applicable teachings of the man called [the] Buddha,” Ven. Maha Gone said. The end outcome is contentment, a joy that doesn’t rely on anything or anybody else but oneself. (Today on the Isle of Man)

In order to build a temple, some long-term Thai inhabitants of the Isle of Man invited Buddhist monks, as recounted by Ven. Maha Gon. The local Thai community, which Ven. Maha Gone described as quite charitable, showed strong interest in and support for the project. 

“I am very enthusiastic about the opportunity we have here,” Ven. Maha Gone said. “And as my English improves, [I] hope to be involved in bringing another dimension to this beautiful island, which has already made me feel so welcome,” he added. (Today on the Isle of Man)

Thais, the vast majority of whom are Theravada Buddhists, have long looked to their temples as the spiritual and social centers of their communities. Monks have historically served the community by conducting funerals, offering spiritual guidance, comforting those in need, teaching meditation, and spreading the teachings of the Buddha.

In addition to this, Ven. Maha Gone cited the temple’s Thai cuisine, intriguing cultural rites, and the opportunity to experience and celebrate Thai culture with other tourists. He went on to say that the temple would also be a terrific resource for meditators, Buddhists, and fans of Thailand.

The temple has recently reopened to the public, but it is far from complete and relies heavily on donations to continue operating.

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