How the Indiana Buddhist Temple Has Helped Me
Article submitted by Indiana Buddhist Temple, written by Jonathan Buckingham
As I was heading out the door of the Indiana Buddhist Temple, feeling peaceful and calm, I was asked to write an essay, on how the temple has helped me. I jumped with excitement inside and was pleased to do so. The temple has supported me in many ways already, but the four things I noticed most is the care of the monks, the sense of community, the benefits of the teachings, and the chance to retreat. With honor in my mind I am proud to explain how the temple has done this.
Just a couple of kind words from another person can lighten up the whole day. I will never forget the questions asked from one of the monks. With a soft, gentle tone in his voice, he asked me, “Are you happy?” Knowing that someone is interested in my well-being, the question lifted me with a warm smile. I notice the monks at the temple are always speaking in this kind way to everyone. I enjoy just sitting back and listening to them. It teaches me a feeling of acceptance for myself and others.
When a community shows me love, I want to give them love back. I see this cycle as the monks giving compassion to the community and the community wanting to give compassion back to the monks, and on and on. It’s a beautiful cycle! When I go to the temple people are always offering me things: “Please sit,” “Would you like to join use?” “Yes, please rest,” or “Please, come and eat.” When I interact with people at the temple, I learn more how to do this with everyone I meet. It shows me how giving compassion to another person can go a long way.
I get great joy in learning to have a calm mind. I have been doing meditation on my own for a little while now. Yet, I can tell my meditation is getting better going to the temple. The temple offers regular group meditation sessions. One of these sessions I enjoyed was the Loving-Kindness Mediation during the last retreat. The meditation started with the monk helping everyone to become calm. He would say things like, “take a deep breath” or, “feel the joy viewing something pleasant.” As I listened, my body and mind started to become calm. Within a period of time, he would start saying more uplifting words like, “see how much love is inside you,” and “you are a confident person”. When I was in this very relaxed state with someone repeating kind words the love I have become more alive. Overall, I learned about compassion when doing these meditations. It is critical because it helps me with day-to-day events.
Indiana Buddhist Temple is a place where I can go to get away and relax. If I am having a bad day I can go to the temple any time. I can walk on their walking meditation path, read my books or borrow books from the library, write, clear my mind, view their art work and be myself. With all I have mentioned plus more I haven’t, my stress levels are dropping, my social skill are getting better and I am becoming a more happy person.
How has the temple helped me? I place my hands together and say Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!
“Indiana Buddhist Temple is a meditation learning center located in Fort Wayne vicinity, Indiana, USA. In June 28, 2003, the Temple was founded by Venerable Thalangama Devananda (Bhante Devananda). Bhante always emphasizes that the temple is open to people of all religious beliefs, cultures and backgrounds.” – indianabuddhistvihara.org