Cambodian Ministry of Environment develops Buddhist cultural center in Kirirom National Park

- through Henry Oudin

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Visual plan of the Buddhist Cultural Center of Cambodia. Image from Google

The Cambodian Ministry of Environment is developing a meditation site for Dharma practice at the Cambodia Buddhist Cultural Center, located in Kirirom National Park, Kampong Speu Province. The aim is to encourage local and visiting Buddhists to practice meditation and better understand the teachings of the Buddha.

On January 6, Minister of the Ministry of Environment Eang Sophalleth visited the site and said it was designed to purify the mind, bringing tranquility and happiness. “We are creating a special space for Buddhists to meditate, with modern Khmer tents that stand out from the rest,” said Sophalleth. “This place is destined to become a legacy for the next generation of Cambodian children. For our testing phase, we plan to set up five to ten tents. (Asian News Network)

The Ministry and the Department of Environment of Kampong Speu Province have been actively engaged in planting tens of thousands of plants on the center's grounds, in line with the religious culture's emphasis on natural forests. According to Sophalleth, the combined objectives of promoting Buddhist culture and developing natural resources are consistent with his ministry's circular strategy on the environment 2023-2028. The strategy attempts to transform the potential of the environmental sector into practical benefits for Cambodia and its people.

Construction site of the new Buddhist cultural center within the Kirirom National Park in the province of Kampong Speu. Photo from Asian News Network

The still unfinished Buddhist cultural center, which covers 126 hectares, has been operational since 2005. Its stated objective is to promote Buddhism, defend societal values ​​and develop national culture. Former Prime Minister Hun Sen supported the establishment of the institute. The location is home to the spectacular Pathom Chedi Temple, a large stupa measuring 108 meters long and 37 meters wide, and said to house the relics of the Buddha as well as various sacred texts. The intricate stone carvings within the center grounds reflect key periods in the Buddha's life, such as his birth and enlightenment. 84 stunning Buddha sculptures were also carved from the natural rock and placed in the center.

Sophalleth highlighted the ministry’s objective of promoting environmental management in communities. He believes there is a link between conservation efforts and improved livelihoods, since the center intends to improve the lives and prospects of local residents.

“In various countries, Buddhist centers have existed for centuries. As Khmer practitioners of Buddhism, it is very appropriate for us to have our own center,” said the center’s founder, Venerable Nhek Buntha. “I consider him a national treasure, generously initiated even if he does not have hundreds of millions of dollars. The participation of the Queen Mother and people from diverse backgrounds underlines the broad support given to this initiative. (The Phnom Penh post)

According to Sun Meanchey, director of the Culture and Fine Arts Department of Kampong Speu, “. . . this center constitutes a remarkable achievement and is poised to become a leading cultural and religious tourist destination, given its immense size and importance. (The Phnom Penh post)

Chhort Bunthang, a researcher at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, also praised the project, citing the site's fresh air and rich natural beauty. “In our advanced society, people today face many mental challenges. This meditation space serves as a remedy, purifying hearts and minds to resolve these issues,” said Bunthang. “This plays a role in boosting tourism, as Cambodian and international tourists support the products sold by nearby residents. » (Asian News Network)

See more

A Buddhist center flourishes above Kirirom National Park (The Phnom Penh post)
Cambodian Ministry of Environment shapes sanctuary of deep reflection in national park (Asia News Network)

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Henry Oudin

Henry Oudin is a Buddhist scholar, spiritual adventurer and journalist. He is a passionate seeker of the depths of Buddhist wisdom, and travels regularly to learn more about Buddhism and spiritual cultures. By sharing his knowledge and life experiences on Buddhist News, Henry hopes to inspire others to embrace more spiritual and mindful ways of living.

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