Wat Phrasriratanaram, Inc., the Buddhist
Temple & Meditation Center of Greater St. Louis, was founded by the Thai
Buddhist community of Greater St. Louis in 1983, as a Thai Theravada
Buddhist Temple. The purposes of founding this Temple were to create a
teaching and practicing center of Buddhism according to the Theravada
tradition, as well as, a teaching center of Thai culture,
tradition and Thai language.
Originally, the Temple located at 4000 Hartford Street, St.
Louis, MO 63116 during the years 1983 - 1990.
Since July 1, 1990, the Temple relocated to 890 Lindsay Lane,
Florissant, MO 63031. The
Temple normally houses 4 - 5 Buddhist monks, ordained in Thailand
according to the Thai Theravada tradition, and they have been in the
monkshood for at least 10 - 15 years.
They depend on the lay community for the basic necessities of life,
including food, clothing, shelter, and medication.
In return, they give spiritual guidance to the lay community.
The Thai Buddhist monks observe 227 precepts or moral codes,
including practicing celibacy.
The Temple has successfully served the Thai community and the
Laotian community of Greater St. Louis, as well as the general public,
as a center for studying and practicing Buddhism.
Buddhism teaches the 3
Fundamental principles, namely 1. To avoid doing bad deeds,
2. To do good deeds, and 3. To purify one's mind, through Insight
VIPASSANA Meditation is being taught to the public regularly,
free of charge, every Saturday night from 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m., at the
Temple. Those who want to practice more intensively may join the monks
in the daily evening (6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.) pray and meditation.
Insight meditation is very important as it is the key for one to clearly
understand, through one’s own Buddha Nature, of all phenomena of life,
and to live one's life in peace, freedom, happiness, and in perfect
harmony with nature.
Buddha Nature already exists and resides in everyone, regardless of
any age, sex, race, dialect, literacy, occupation, wealth, or even
religious belief, and can be realized by oneself through Insight
Meditation with one’s own effort.
Buddhism values freedom from emotional conflict, affliction, dis-ease, unsatisfactoriness, and suffering as the ultimate goal in life. The Buddha declared over 2588 years ago that, “Just as the ocean has only one taste, the taste of salt; this teaching also has only one taste, the taste of freedom.” He exposed the SECRET OF NATURE which he discovered through his enlightenment, that the ultimate freedom, which is synonymous to ultimate peace and true happiness, is based upon INTELLECTUAL & EMOTIONAL FREEDOM, the highest form of freedom or human dignity that anyone could achieve, i.e., NIRVANA. With MINDFULNESS and WISDOM resulting from MIND DEVELOPMENT through practicing INSIGHT MEDITATION, one would see clearly the true nature of all existence in its reality without any bias or distortion, i.e., gaining Insight. One would realize the difference of CONVENTIONAL TRUTH and ULTIMATE TRUTH, understanding THE THREE UNIVERSAL CHARACTERISTICS OF EXISTENCE, namely ‘Impermanence,’ ‘Imperfection,’ and ‘Not-self.’ One would witness how everything arises and they are interrelated through DEPENDENT
ORIGINATION, and one would see the mechanism of how one imprisons
oneself in the self-created endless worlds of thoughts.
As a result of this understanding and seeing one’s thought process as it
arises, one would stop craving with greed, hatred, and delusion,
sneaking in with such unintentional and biased thoughts, in order to
please ONESELF with temporary worldly pleasure or happiness. One
would become totally FREE EMOTIONALLY and INTELLECTUALLY
from one's own imprisonment in this small, narrow-minded and biased
world of ‘SELF’, which is the root of dis-ease, unhappiness, and
suffering. One would be opening oneself up to the unlimited,
unconditioned universal experience, living in perfect harmony with
nature, according to the flow of nature, in ultimate peace, freedom and
Ven. Boonlua Sukkhadhammo, Abbot