Sunday, September 4, 2011

Wat Did You Vist This Labor Day?

All photos are for Personal Use Only. No commercial use without the permission of copyright holder and the artists of Wat Dharmararam Buddhist Temple Association.(

Wat Dharmararam Buddhist Temple Association
3732 E Carpenter Rd
Stockton, CA 95215
(209) 915-1164

The Temple has ambitious plans to extend its sculpture garden. Having completed its grotto depicting the Buddha's life, it now plans to create Nirvana (no, not the rock band; but the state of Buddhist bliss that one can achieve once enlightenment is achieved and our mortal bodies are shed) in concrete. 

The site is just off CA-99 in not-so-prime land that fronts the freeway. The monks, with the help of the believers have been slowly nibbling away at the available land, one five acre parcel at a time. They now own fifteen acres and from the look of things could expand further.

The statues were created by the local monk, a former architect, with the help of the believers. The whole affair has a DIY, naive vigor that more formal sites lack. The whole Wat is a labor of love and despite the surroundings quite charming. Word of warning, there is not tree one in the grotto itself, and the sun can beat down mercilessly. Bring lots of water and sunscreen, plus an open mind. Also plan other activities in Stockton if you go to the Wat. A determined power walker could blow through the grotto in seven minutes flat; the wife and I lazed though it in a hour.

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