Buddhist Monastery Opens in Bowling Green

by Lacey Steele, WBKO.com, Jan 2, 2010

Bowling Green, Kentucky (USA) -- It was a joyous occasion Saturday in Bowling Green as a new Buddhist temple opens in the community.

For about three years, many refugees have sought a temple, and now they finally have one.

"It's a Burmese tradition, Burmese culture," said the Venerable Ashin of New York with the International Burmese Monks Organization.

In Bowling Green, there are hundreds of people from Burma, known more recently as Myanmar, so the International Burmese Monks Organization thought it was an important place to open a temple.

"So it's a necessity for our country, for peace in our country and in the United States," said Ashin.

And they want to make sure they promote peace by mixing many cultures and religions.

"This is not only Buddhist," said Ashin. "This is all Christian, all Muslim and Hindu, all community people here, so we mix all in the religious vincinity in Bowling Green. We meet in the temple here."

Saturday gave many the chance to make donations to monks who came from as far away as New York, California, and Canada.

The temple will be used for different occasions as well as meditation and education.

"We discuss the future and how you do missionary in Bowling Green," said Ashin. "Here it's religion, politics, and the culture. Everything here. Some discussion here."

Local Buddhists are grateful they now have a place to go, and many are eager to promote the non-violent Buddhist culture.

"It's a peace," said Ashin. "Religious. We mix our community and American people all together in Bowling Green and the vicinity. A peace for all Bowling Green people."