Peace Pagoda, Willen - Lucy Newman
Milton Keynes is a new city for the 21st century, with its energy
efficient housing, ever-growing shopping centre and the largest
indoor ski slope in Europe. It has a history of only 40 years and
a reputation for crazy schemes and wacky buildings. So can a modern
town such as this have a spiritual side?
at the peace pagoda
I think it can and I found it at the Buddhist Temple and peace pagoda
in Willen. The Nipponzan Myohoji - as it is called in Japanese -
is a focal point for Buddhism in the whole of the Western world.
The peace pagoda was the first to be built in the western hemisphere
and Milton Keynes was chosen to be its host.
pagoda is a form of ancient memorial to the Buddha and his teaching.
Horrified by the effect of the nuclear bomb at Hiroshoma, a Japanese
Buddhist leader revived the custom of building them after World
his life to peace Buddhism, he sent his nuns and monks all over
the world to build peace pagodas. One monk came to Britain and was
introduced to the Milton Keynes Development Corporation.
invited the monk's order to come to Milton Keynes to build a pagoda
at Willen. The land was leased to them in exchange for them planting
one cherry tree a year. The Japanese temple and gardens soon followed.
I like the temple?
The beautiful gardens are maintained by the residents of the temple
and there are at least four there at all times. The
gardens are in the traditional Japanese style and visitors are free
to walk around them.
and peace - and a place to regain your sense of humour!
the temple because people are welcome at all times and you are left
to spend as much time as you want there. You can go to the temple
to think or to pray or when something special happens in your life.
Visitors also went to the pagoda to think about and pray for all
the people affected by the war in Iraq.
the temple and peace pagoda remarkable because they can be found
in a bustling new city which is modern and vibrant, yet by visiting
them you can experience tranquility and peace in the middle of all
main road - the A509 - is just a couple of minutes away but traffic
and rush hours seem miles away. The site feels remote and special
and is a unique part of Milton Keynes.