Wat Buddharangsi of Miami
We are a Theravada Buddhism temple built in 1982 and we are at the service of the community. Come and visit with the monks, attend our special events or just spent a quite moment infront of our Buddha Statue you are going to experience an internal moment of peace and joy.
Wat Buddharangsi's history is filled with great determination in overcoming countless obstacles as from Hurricane Andrew to financing and zoning -- to become the strong, thriving temple it is today. Its members started out with one goal that was to become an active Buddhist temple in Miami. We have accomplished that goal, but still have many more goals to work toward. Let us join together to celebrate the past -- and look forward to building a glorious and peaceful future together!
Wat Buddharangsi of Miami was incorporated in the state of Florida as a non-profit 501 (c) 3, a religious organization on August 25, 1982. It is located on five acres of land at 15200 S.W. 240th Street, Miami, FL 33032; the property was bought in 1986 for $175,000.00. The temple had its groundbreaking ceremony on June 11, 1995. Nopporn Poochareon was the architect for the temple and oversaw the construction of the temple. The construction of the five buildings (a religious hall, an all purpose building, two classrooms, and a bell tower) started on June 18, 1996. It took 6 years and 2 months to complete the construction. The temple received its certificate of occupation (CO) for the 5 buildings on August 11, 2002. The total cost of the construction, when the temple received its “CO,” was about $1.5 million dollars. One million dollars came from donations, while the rest was borrowed money from 1st National Bank of South Florida. This cost did not include the cost that was donated and paid by the Marble Temple in Bangkok, Thailand in the amount of 2.5 million baht for the decorative parts, which were made in Thailand and shipped to the temple. In order for monks to use the religious hall as a holy place, the religious hall held a Demarcation Ceremony on June 15, 2003 -- to establish the boundary of the religious hall as a holy place by placing 9 sacred stones (Looke-Ni-Mitr) into the boundary to mark the religious hall as a holy place. On this occasion, there were 150 monks from temples in Thailand and the United States who attended the Demarcation Ceremony. There were also 25 monks and 7 novice monks who were ordained at the newly demarcation ceremonial religious hall on the same day.
Currently Phrasiridhammavidhet (Phramaha Surachesth Boonnom), the original abbot of the temple and 3 monks reside at the temple and give sermons and services to the members and community.
Phrabuddhadhammachinaraj is the main Buddha statue for worship inside the religious hall of Wat Buddharangsi of Miami. The official name of the Buddha statue is “Phrabuddhadhammachinaraj Sakayamuneesrisamaidulnakij”. It was sculpted in Bangkok, Thailand by the master artist Mr. Bunpoth Kleubgaow. Mr. Keleubgaow molded the sculpture of the Buddha from wax in January 1991, then cast the statue on May 16, 1992, finally finishing in 1993. The Buddha image is primarily bronze but also has copper, brass, gold and silver. The estimated cost of the Buddha statue, including transportation to Wat Buddharangsi in Miami, was about $60,000.00. The Buddha statue arrived at Wat Buddharangsi on December 5, 1997 and had a dedication ceremony on January 11, 1998. Phrabuddhadhammachinaraj is 23 feet high, 5 tons weigh, and 80 inches width from left knee to right knee.
Wat Buddharangsi as a Buddhist Education Center:
Since June of 2000, with the cooperation of the Chadrakasem Rajabhat University, Bangkok, Thailand and the Thai-American Association of South Florida, a summer school was founded at the temple to teach Thai language, culture, music, dance, customs and manner during the summer school break. This summer school program is free of charge and teaches children from age 6 and up. Since the inception of the summer school program, there has been an average of 20-25 students per summer that have attended the program.Classes, open to the public, are held every Saturday and Sunday from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. teaching meditation and Buddhism (Saturday in Spanish, Sunday in English). Also, on every special Buddhist holiday, the temple offers a weekend retreat to practice the Buddhist eight precepts. College students that attend World Religion classes at FIU, University of Miami, Barry University, Miami Dade College, BCC, Nova Southeastern University and St. Thomas University have come to the temple on a regular basic to learn about the Buddhist way of life and its practice. Additionally, children from elementary schools and high schools in Miami-Dade County visit the temple on field trips to learn about Buddhism from the monks. Groups from many organizations such as USDA and churches have brought their members to the temple to learn about Buddhism and the Thai culture. In 2006 and 2007, the temple has hosted “Change Your Mind Day” (a day of meditation) with many other Buddhist temples and Buddhist organizations in South Florida. On this special day, monks give lectures and teach meditation free of charge to the public.
The temple, Wat Buddharangsi has been out in the public places such as the Asian Culture Festival held at the Fruit & Spice every year since 1991, the festival first year. Thousands of people have received Buddhist teachings through the festival, learning about Buddhist rituals and practices. This has led to an enormous growth in the number of visitors to the temple -- people seeking peace of mind or wanting to learn more about Thai culture. As a result of all of the aforementioned events, Wat Buddharangsi is becoming a major center for Buddhist Education Center in Miami.