Tuesday, 17 February 2009

One of the faces of Buddhism, London

This is the very gentle, very lovely Ven. Wisanu from the Wat Buddharam, Thai Buddhist Temple in Wanstead, London. I visited the temple last Thursday and Ven. Wisanu was kind enough to allow me to take some photographs. Originally from Thailand, he has lived in the UK for three years at the Wat Buddharam temple. He became a monk in his twenties (he is now an unbelievable 42 years old- he looks so young!) and said that it was entirely his decision to become a monk.

He has one sister and one of her son's is also a monk in Thailand. His parents are incredibly proud of him and his decision to become a monk. Ven. Wisanu explained that the monks live in a house nearby the temple and spend their days studying, meditating, chanting, teaching, prayer and receiving people coming to the temple to give offerings.

The monks of Wat Buddharam have two meals a day (breakfast and lunch) and rely on food provided by Buddhist followers.

Ven. Wisanu shaves his head once a month:

The white balance and colour casts of these next two photos are woeful- but the more I played in lightroom and photoshop the worse they looked! I decided to include them anyway :)

Thank you so much to Ven. Wisanu for allowing me to sit with him, answer my questions and take some photographs. It was a wonderful experience.

p.s. the ducks have nothing to do with Buddhism. I just thought they looked peaceful and I love the orange "top notch" on the top of their heads. It reminds me of the wonderful robes worn by the monks.

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