Wat Pananachart Buddhist Temple, Washington, DC is a Theravadan Buddhist Monastery founded in 2001 by the Thai Buddhists who resided in Washington, D.C. Metropolitan.
Since there are many Thai and other Asian people living in this area, the need to have a monastery (Wat) is occurred. First, the Wat was situated on 14511 United Drive, Chantilly, Virginia 20151, and then the Wat moved to 24681 Goshen Road, Aldie, Virginia 20105. Finally, the Wat moved to 40539 John Mosby Highway, Aldie, Virginia 20105, which is very nice and peaceful.
Now, there are six monks living in the monastery. Phrakhu Sangharak Khampong Panyavudho (Luangpo Noi) is the abbot and director of the Committees. The Buddhists support the temple.
What is the purpose of having the Buddhist Monasteries in the USA. ?
For the Thai people, no matter where they live, they would like to build a temple in that area, because in their entire lives, they must get involved with ceremonies which the Buddhist monks do, from birth to death. Even though they come to settle in the USA., they need the monks and Wat to be with them; therefore, they bring the monks the USA to be their refuges.
What are the duties of monks ?
Two main things that the monks have to do for all their lives are:
1. To observe the Vinayas (disciplines) of which there are 227 rules.
2. To teach the Dhamma (the Buddha's teachings).
What do monks have to do at the monasteries ?
The monks here have to do a lot of things; for example, cleaning, teaching, advising to the people, working on the compound, typing etc. There is a schedule for the routine as follows:
05:30 a.m. Wake up
06:00 a.m. Morning Chanting & Meditation
07:00 a.m. Breakfast
08:00 a.m. Dhamma Study
11:00 a.m. Lunch
01:00 a.m. Dhamma Study
03:00 p.m. Cleaning the temple & Working
07:00 p.m. Evening Chanting & Meditation
As the schedule shows above, do the monks not eat dinner ? Why ?
No, monks are not allowed to eat dinner. They can drink just water, juice and five things; namely, butter, cheese, oil, honey, and cane juice. The Buddha did not allow monks to eat dinner because the monks should eat less, sleep less, be diligent, practice more and more, not be lazy.
Do monks have a family or get married ?
No, the monks have no family. They cannot get married and have to
practice disciplines. A person who wants to become a monk has to
renounce all the worldly treasures.
Does the Wat have a project to build a new building in the near future ?
Yes, the Wat has a project to construct a multi-purpose building.
Where will the Wat get the money from ?
We will do the project step by step and little by little. The construction will not start untill we have enough money. Since we do not have a particular budget for this project, we must ask for donations from all the people. Without money, the project can not proceed.
If you would like to donate money, you could.
Just put donations in the envelope, write your name and the purpose of the donation and put in the DONATION BOX. Or If you want to donate by mail, you can mail your check, payable to: Wat Pananachart Buddhist Temple, Washington, DC, 40539 John Mosby Highway, Aldie, Virginia 20105-2826.
Do monks at the Wat teach dhamma and meditation ? If I would like to learn how to practice meditation, how can I do so?
Yes, all the monks teach dhamma and meditation. You are welcome to learn the dhamma and meditation at the Wat any time. Please feel free to call to make an appointment. The best time to call is from 7:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m., Eastern time. The phone number is 703-327-7618 or 703-327-7646.
Do we have any services on Sunday, and what time ?
Yes, we do. The Wat is open at 6:00 a.m. and closed at 9:00 p.m.
Traditionally, the Buddhists will come to the Wat on Buddha's day which Thai people call "Wanpra". They are the 8th and 15th days of the lunar month. However, in the USA, the people have to work. Most of them take a day off on weekend. Some people come to the temple; normally, they come at 10:00 a.m. to prepare food for monks and observe five precepts before offering food to monks. After the monks finish lunch, laypeople are allowed to eat and get a blessing.
Once I enter the temple and see monks, how do I behave myself ?
Whenever the laypeople see the monks, they have to pay respect to them. If they are standing, you can pay respect by raising up your hands, making them like a lotus and bend down your head and back a little. If the monks are sitting, you should pay respect by bowing for three times. Whenever you talk to monks, it's good to keep raising up your hands. That manner shows more respect for monks and shows your well trained behavior.