We would like to show publicly, our
appreciation and thanks to the people of the City of Ten
Thousand Buddhas for the wonderful experience they gave us.
In conjunction with reading "Siddhartha" in our 10th grade
World Literature class at Potter Valley High, my students
and I were blessed with an invitation to visit the City of
Ten Thousand Buddhas, where we were allowed to join in on
the festivities surrounding Buddha's birthday. This is the
third time I have been able to take this trip with students,
and every year I learn something new, but always, I feel the
same way when I get there-at peace, contented. Here are some
of my students' impressions of this trip:
"We got to participate in the bathing of the Buddha. You bow
a certain way and bathe him three times. It was thought that
when he was born, the dragons brought the rain to cleanse
him. I learned that when we cleanse the Buddha, we are also
symbolically cleansing ourselves. I also enjoyed looking at
"I thought that participating in the ceremonies, the
prayers, the bowing and singing (or trying to sing) in
Chinese was really interesting. I learned a little about
Buddhist monks' Way of every day life-how they wake up at 4
a.m., the different ceremonies they participate in on a
daily basis. It was really interesting."
"It is interesting how the five precepts that Buddhist take
are similar to the 10 Commandments. Their rules are kind of
strict compared to what we do in our every day life. It was
very interesting to learn about a different culture and way
"One of my favorite parts of the trip was looking at and
learning about all of the statues at the City. I left
feeling very materialistic because they don't live with all
the luxuries that I do. They never abuse their blessings. I
wouldn't like to live the way they do, but I really respect
them because they can live that way."
"I liked the ceremony they do before they eat and how the
place where the ceremony was done had more than 10,000
Buddhas in the wall and ceiling. I learned more about their
religion and customs from one of the teachers (monks)
"I enjoyed hearing how the monks became involved in
Buddhism, and how they eventually decided to become monks."
"I think I understand what Enlightenment is, well, better
than I did before."
"The best part about the trip was to see how a small
community of people had come together to make this place and
practice their religion. It's almost like a small county
inside California. It was also really interesting to learn
about what the swastika really stands for (infinity, lasting
peace). Hitler turned it backwards and twisted its meaning."
"I really liked the altar in the Temple. It was full of
beautifully decorated statues. The paintings on the four
corners (the Four Kings) were really neat too. They had such
detail and the students at the school helped paint them!"
"The City of Ten Thousand Buddhas was a really warm place.
Everyone had a smile for us even though we were strangers.
It had good vibes!"
"I was fascinated by the traditions and customs which bring
the Buddhists together as a reverent and peaceful
Seeing, listening, tasting. Smelling and feeling it-being
there-what a wonderful way to experience a different
culture. Thank you Terry, Josie, Heng Shun, Chin Lung and
all the others at the City for welcoming us so warmly and
sharing your time and energy. Special thanks to the Head
Chef who made the community's daily meal an extra special