Monks Take Part in Buddhist Ritual

July 19, 2008

Author: Polina Diaz


Four monks, adorned in orange robes with a hint of yellow, sat on an elevated platform recounting chants and Buddhist customs.

But this is not a country in East Asia - it's right around the corner in North Fort Myers.

Monks at Wat Lao Dhammavanno, a Buddhist temple built in 1999, conducted a ceremony last Sunday to honor Buddha and other religious customs. As part of the Buddhist lent, the ceremony initiates a period of hibernation and purification for the four monks. They must reside solely in the temple. If they do migrate outside its boundaries, they must return to spend the night.

For the next three months, the monks will endure only two meals a day, breakfast and lunch, to cleanse themselves of toxins. If, however, an emergency arises during the span, the monks must return in no less than seven days and continue their tasks.