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Buddha and his Temples Fifteen in 37 KilometersPages:
Author and historian, Gary Popejoy is known by some as an Ambassador to Buddhism. A diverse career in business administration and engineering makes up Gary’s life. Those diversities include military service in the US Army where his life’s understanding of Buddhism began.
As a manager with Air America and the CIA’s secret war in Laos, Gary was stationed in Thailand. While there, he was able to continue exploring Buddhist temples and temple life. His employment at Mercury Nevada, Area 51, included exploding nuclear devices. This was where he began seeing temples and Buddhist teachings form in the United States.
At Lockheed’s Skunk Works, he managed classified production programs. There he watched and became involved in establishing the first sanctioned Thailand Buddhist temple in the United States, Wat Thai of Los Angeles. Gary has been a business owner and community volunteer. Today he is retired, writes, continues to travel and investigate Buddhism.
Gary’s work in Asia found him visiting temples and appreciating Buddhist life. He spent many hours inside the temples eating, learning, meditating and sleeping. He has toured new, old, abandoned, and national heritage sites in cities, countrysides, mountains, islands, deserts, and caves.
Buddha and His Temple - Fifteen in 37 Kilometers enlightens readers with a multifaceted history of Buddhism with manmade creations. These structures are called wats’ or temples.
Over the millennia, these temples have changed, but life within them has remained virtually the same. This book uncovers temple evaluation, architecture, struggles and the life inside as explained from a westerner’s perspective.
In this volume, author Gary Popejoy begins the journey of Buddhism with temples to show the creation and rich heritage of one man, Siddhartha Gautama, 582 B.C.
Born a prince, Siddhartha became dissatisfied with castle life. At age 26 he gave up his royal life in search of a cure for suffering. For six years he studied and practiced harsh ascetic techniques. Siddhartha studied with Arada, Kalama, and Udraka before becoming convinced their meditation methods would not lead him to enlightenment.
In the forest, in the land of Magadha, alone, Siddhartha practiced asceticism. Recovering from starvation and near death, he spurred himself to meditate under a Bodhi Tree. There he became enlightened with the solution to end suffering. From that point forward, now called Buddha, the founder of Buddhism taught the Middle Way of the Eightfold path that spread throughout Asia. Forty years later the Buddha died at the age of 80 years.
By the year 300 B.C. Asian countries predominantly became Buddhist influenced. The countries and communities began to build temples as information gathering and instruction locations. Buddha’s disciples, called monks, lived in the temples where they meditated and spread the ways of Buddhism.
Today Buddhist temples span the world. Records indicate there are more than 30,000 temples in Thailand practicing Buddhism.
Buddha and his Temples -Fifteen in 37 Kilometers describes one stretch of road connecting one township to another along the Mae Ping River. Gary wondered: “Fifteen temples …, how come …, why are there so many temples in this short distance?” and “What’s in them?”
Gary began visiting the fifteen temples, the essence of this book one at a time. He interviewed monks and laypersons taking a copious number of pictures, which he shares in this first volume manuscript.
This book Buddha and His Temples - Fifteen in 37 Kilometers is that westerner’s inside view of temples that reveals a fascinating, rich history of life and stories. Gary’s investigation uncovered abandoned temples, war, unwritten history, slavery, murder, and abandonment that include entire cities.
Thousands of temples emerged over the millennia. Their architecture changed from one ruling dynasty to the next. Buddha and His Temples - Fifteen in 37 Kilometers, From A Westerner’s Perspective is the first book that incorporates not only one temple and life subjects together, but many.
Gary wrote this book to enlighten others about Buddhist temples and their life of which most westerners may know very little. Buddha and his Temples, Fifteen in 37 Kilometers is a beginning into the understanding of Buddhism.
Gary has written two follow-on books in this series. Volume II, Buddha, From Birth to Death and His Teaching. Volume III, Seven days of Buddha and Meditation. For information, contact Gary at garypopejoy.com
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