Laotian Buddhists in North Virginia

May 22, 2003

Source: Citizenet

On May 22, 2003 Citizenet reported that "at 5, he joined his first monastic order in Laos. And for more than a decade he lived a life of solitude deep in the Laotian jungle as part of an ascetic group of so-called 'forest monks...' He 'escaped' Laos in 1980, heading to Northern Virginia and founding Wat Lao in a small two-story house in Alexandria... Soon parking problems and strict zoning ordinances stood in the way of the temple’s growth... Abbott Kittithammavanno and Wat Lao’s three other full-time monks moved the temple to its 58-acre site in Catlett... Much of the monks’ time is spent planning for the various festivals Wat Lao hosts throughout the year — the two biggest occur in mid-April and on the Fourth of July."