The warm sunshine and cool air mixed together under a clear blue sky setting the tone for a beautiful day spent at the Ten Thousand Buddhas Temple here in Niagara Falls, Canada. It is also known as the Sarira Stupa and Chan Shan Temple.
Completed in 2001, the Ten Thousand Buddhas Temple is a seven storey structure built in Chinese architectural style, and yes it contains 10,000 Buddha figurines. The largest of which is five storeys tall, and the smallest of which can be measured in centimetres.
The beauty of this place isn’t just in the architecture or the many Buddhas of varying sizes, or the golden glass windows that reflect the sky. It is in the peace and joy that abounds here.
Buddhism is a peaceful philosophy of life, one of the tenets of this belief system is to follow and find the truth for yourself while moving peacefully towards enlightenment. It is a path and a way of life, and there is great peace in it. The magic is in the journey and the destination.
I learned this first hand as I sat on the little meditation stool in front of the large Buddha statue housed in the building adjacent to the seven storey temple. Fruits and flowers rest at the base of the golden statue. And the scent in the air is reminiscent of summer wildflowers in bloom. Offerings such as these signify reverence for the great Buddha’s teachings and for life itself.
The room was absolutely quiet and I closed my eyes to absorb the aura of peace and a depth of feeling that comes from immersion. I had spoken earlier to the monk who had provided me with some insights into the ways of the Buddha. And I picked up some reading material to satiate my curiosity later.
After a quiet meditation I was guided by the monk to burn incense outside in the big urn. Feeling elated by this new experience I knew I had to capture some images. Note that indoor picture taking was not allowed.
This is a place of worship and not a tourist attraction. However tourists are most welcome and you are also welcome on a guided tour. There are no tickets. Everything is donation based.
Check for hours during the pandemic lockdowns as things have changed throughout. And I’ve noticed the locked gates many times off and on over the last couple of years.
You are welcome to wander the grounds as well. The over three acres upon which this site rests is right on River Road overlooking the Niagara Gorge a short drive from the Horseshoe Falls.
Parking is plentiful and free. And the atmosphere is warm and welcoming. I was fortunate to have visited on an afternoon when there were no tourists or services being offered. And I revelled in the aloneness.
Undoubtedly I breathed deeply, absorbing the moment and the experience like a sponge. There is an energy about this place that is difficult to articulate. And today, over two years later, I still carry that sense of peace with me. What a joyful experience.
If you do go the Ten Thousand Buddhas Sarira Stupa is located at 4303 River Rd., Niagara Falls, Ontario. Check first if they are open during the pandemic as hours may have changed.