Where we put things speaks to our character. Think about where you sleep. What do you keep closest to you while you rest and what do you grab first when you wake up? One of your values may be punctuality if your answer to that question is an alarm clock. If it’s a cell phone maybe something you value is connectivity.
Today when I went to a local temple to map the grounds I was looking for patterns, symmetry and organization but I was trying to look deeper than that too, at things below the surface. Outward behavior is a manifestation of our core beliefs, our “worldview”. I saw a lot of evidence of underlying core values while doing this exercise.
Below my crude hand-drawn map I have placed a gallery of images with the Thai name, an English approximate and a brief description of each building’s use. Each photo was taken while walking around the temple grounds in clock-wise order with the central building last. Let us know in the comments what you see in this pattern.
I'm a missionary, not a cartographer.
1. ซุ้มประตู - "soom pratoo" The Temple Gate. There are many varieties of doors.
2. หอไตร - "haw trai" Place to store important artifacts.
3. ศาลาที่พัก - A "sala ti pak". Usually donated by family of a deceased person.
4. สถูป - "satoop" a religious monument containing important relic(s)
5. ศาลา - "sala" A general purpose room used most often for funerals. The body stays here for a few days before cremation
6. ห้องน้ำ - "hong nam" Bathroom. Currently under costruction. In this picture they were inserting the septic tank.
7. โรงครัว "rong krua" cafeteria
8. เจดีย์ - "Chedi" bell-shaped pagoda
9. กุฏิ "goot dee" a house for monks
10. โบสถ์ "bot" chapel
11. ต้นลำไย "ton lamyai" A large Longan fruit tree. Click the picture to learn more.
12. ศาลาสังขจาย์ "sala sang ka jai" This is a little place for this particular type of statue.
13. หอระฆัง "haw ra khang" bell tower. I have no idea when it's rung or why. We'll investigate.
14. วิธาน "weet han" Most important ceremonial building containing the largest statues.
Thanks for taking a look at where things are in a local temple or วัด. Let us know what stands out to you in the comments.
Tags: buddhism, buildings, culture, help, monk, names, places, temple, Thai