Finding Zen

Journey to Zen and lessons from Buddhism

7 of the Most Famous Buddhist Temples in the World

It would be hard to follow the path to Zen without having a close brush with Buddhism. One has always been associated with the other with teachings that intersect or intertwines the other. Many Zen practitioners find their way in Buddhist temples at some point for varied reasons. Whether for a brief visit to worship or stay for a retreat, the temples are centers of spiritual experiences and explorations. Here are some of the world’s most famous Buddhist temples for the bucket list.

Bagan (Myanmar)
Bagan, or Pagan, is an ancient temple town that is home to the Bagan Archaeological Zone. Thousands of temples, pagodas, and stupas remain alongside the ruins that date back centuries. The temples of Bagan are among Myanmar’s top attractions and continue to draw thousands of tourists from around the world.

Borobudur (Java, Indonesia)
Borobudur is the world’s largest Buddhist temple dating back to the 8th and 9th centuries. It took many years to build. Abandoned at some point for unknown reasons, the temple has survived natural calamities for over a thousand years. The Borobudur Temple Compounds is said to be the greatest Buddhist monuments in the world.

Boudhanath Stupa (Kathmandu, Nepal)
Boudhanath Stupa
Also known as the Bodnath Stupa, the Boudhanath is the holiest Tibetan Buddhist temple outside Tibet dating back to the 14th century. It is steeped with symbolic features like the Buddha eyes painted on all four sides of the square tower.

Jokhang Temple (Lhasa, Tibet)
Jokhang Temple
The Jokhang Temple is the Buddhist spiritual center in Tibet. It dates back to the 7th century and has drawn thousands of pilgrims from around the world each year. The Jokhang Monastery serves as the nerve center of the Gelugpa branch of Tibetan Buddhism.

Mahabodhi Temple (Bodh Gaya, India)
Mahabodhi Temple
Mahabodhi Temple is one of the most sacred sites related to the Lord Buddha. The heart of the temple complex is home to a Bodhi Tree that traces its roots to the original where beneath it Gautama Buddha attained Enlightenment. UNESCO declared the Mahabodhi Temple a World Heritage Site in 2002.

Shwedagon Pagoda (Yangon, Myanmar)
Shwedagon Pagoda
The Shwedagon Pagoda is also often referred to as the Golden Pagoda. Dating back to roughly 2,500 years ago, it is the most sacred site in Myanmar (Burma) and is said to enshrine holy relics including strands Buddha’s hair. The towering main stupa is covered in gold.

Tōdai-ji (Nara, Japan)
Tōdai-ji or the Great Eastern Temple was built in 752. It is one of Nara’s historically significant temples. Its Big Buddha Hall (Daibutsuden) is touted as the largest wooden building in the world and houses one of the largest Daibutsu in Japan.

Simple Ways To Have A Purposeful Life

purposeful life

Having a purposeful life doesn’t need to be complicated.

As Gautama Buddha put it: “Ardently do today what must be done. Who knows? Tomorrow, death comes.”

In other words, all you need to do is cherish the moment. Even more so, all you need to do is treasure the present.

Do what you must do.

Say what you must say.

Most of all, live like it’s your last day.


By Spending Time With Your Loved Ones

Having a purposeful life is not just all about becoming a better person for yourself. Having a purposeful life is also about becoming a better person for other people. Even more so, having a purposeful life means being able to spend time with your loved ones – no matter who you are, no matter what you’ve done, and no matter what happens in life.

Be it making coffee for your loved ones during breakfast via Keurig Coffee Makers or making cake with your love ones during dinner, nothing beats spending time with your loved ones on your road to having a purposeful life.

By Spending Time And Helping Other People

As mentioned before, having a purposeful life is not just all about becoming a better person for yourself. As also mentioned before, having a purposeful life is also about becoming a better person for other people. Even more so, having a purposeful life means being able to spend time and help other people – no matter who they are, no matter what they’ve done, and no matter what happens in life.

Be it volunteering to protect the environment by participating in tree planting activities or volunteering to help other people by participating in free curing programs, nothing beats spending time and helping other people on your road to having a purposeful life.

By Spending Time With Yourself

Who are you living for? What are you living for? What are your goals in life? What have you done so far to reach your goals in life?

Having a purposeful life is not just about spending time with your loved ones. Having a purposeful life is also not just about spending time and helping other people.

It’s also about spending time with yourself, realizing all that needs to be done and all that needs to be said on your road to having a purposeful life.

Even more so, it’s realizing the importance of life itself – what you do with your life, what you do with others’ life.

Important Lessons Buddhism Teaches Us


By definition, Buddhism is “an Indian religion that conveys a wide range of spiritual practices and beliefs from Buddha himself.”

The best part? It teaches people how to appreciate life even more, as well as how to love themselves even more.

Here are other important lessons Buddhism teaches us:

Your actions define you more than your words.

Words are, just that, words – unless you act on them. Words can be either taken seriously or not taken seriously. However, actions can only be taken seriously.

Always remember, your actions will make you who you are. Not your words and definitely not the words of other people.

Before judging someone else, get to know them better.

As Buddha said, “do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it.” This doesn’t just go for people, but also for anything you might have first impressions to.

Always remember, to see is to believe. Then again, to feel is to believe – that is, only when it comes to spiritual growth and emotional growth.

We are who we think we are.

Time and again, our minds prove that anything can happen if we set our thoughts on it. So if you’re thinking about a negative thing, that’s who you’ll become – a negative person.

Always remember, positive thoughts reap positive events in life. If you want to be successful in life, you know what to do.

You deserve to be loved – by yourself.

If you can’t love yourself, how would others love you? Likewise, if you can’t love yourself, how would you love other people?

Always remember, self-love is just as important as loving other people. After all, everything in your life will always start with you.

Do you know any other important lessons Buddhism teaches us? Why don’t you share them with everyone, inspiring them even more, by commenting below?

Creating Pockets of Stillness Every Day


Many people seem to be in a constant state of busyness. If you stop long enough to observe closely, chances are you will find a lot of the people around you rushing or multitasking at any given day. And you may even be one of them. Busy may not be a bad thing. But taken to extremes it could take its toll on your wellbeing. Chronic stress and burn out are just some of the end results that those who get trapped in the cycle of busyness often have to deal with. Learning the Zen habit of stillness is a great way to mindfully deal with being busy and avoid getting overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle of life.

The Stillness Habit

Staying still and doing nothing is not laziness as how some people perceive it to be. It can be a soothing and therapeutic practice. It is about mindfully taking time to stop, step back, breathe, and immerse in the present moment. Stillness is about disconnecting from the physical, mental, and emotional noise. It is a time to quiet the mind and body. Creating daily pockets of stillness can help in coping with stress more effectively.


Meditation is a cornerstone of Zen. It is a way to silence the “monkey mind” or the constant mental activity. Meditating is one way to keep the mind and body still in a short time. It can help purge unnecessary thoughts and ideas that serve as mental clutter. Stillness likewise calms and soothes the body. It can be a time to rest and replenish much-needed energy to accomplish the things you set out to do.

Stillness as a Habit

All habits take time to build. But doing the simple things every day can go a long way in making it stick.

  • Devote a few minutes to stillness before you officially start your day. Meditate, do breathing exercises, or simply be mindful while doing your normal activities.
  • Take breaks and use the time to stay still regardless of how busy things get. Do not let the amount of work you need to do get in the way of stopping briefly to breathe and do nothing.
  • Focus on the present. Another great Zen life stress management technique is to be completely present in the moment. When you are in the now, you tend to focus on what is happening instead of the past or future. It helps in quieting down your mind.