What is the Temple for? By Radhini Abeysekera


At the young age of six

I began my days at the temple

Every other Sunday morning

The routine was really quite simple

But a routine was all it was

Each time I stepped through those doors

So I asked myself the question

What is the temple for?

We watched movies about Queen Maya

It was just the “baby class”

It was hard to stay engaged for long

So they let us out pretty fast

As soon as we were dismissed

We would run outside and play

Is this what the temple was for?

A place to laugh and get away

But then I grew older

I was placed in a different class

No more movies, no more recess

Instead I had various tasks

I was learning about Lord Buddha

His life, his teachings, his ways

Is this what the temple was for?

So I could be like Him some day

Now in Bhante Rahula’s class

I wrote essays and learned a lot

About how the teachings of the Buddha

Provided wisdom that could not be bought

Buddhism is a philosophy

On how you may live your life

Just focus on the present,

Not the past or afterlife.

We had open discussions each class

About the Buddha’s life and mine

I soon had an answer to my question

It was finally time.

The temple is a place of respect

And a place to see good friends

A place to seek advice

A place where you can mend

A place to offer food

Or flowers or any aid

And of course, it is also

A place that we have prayed

The temple has provided

A place where I have learned

All about the values with which

I should be concerned

I’ve built a closer bond

With my family, friends, and self

And from the lessons I have learned

I can fully trust myself.