It could very well be the most peaceful place in Brevard County.
Tucked away in a secluded area of Mims, the White Sands Buddhist Center is a magnificent sight you almost have to see to believe.
“Every step of the journey is the journey,” a sign reads as you enter.
The 30-acre site just off Aurantia Road is near silent, except for the trickling of a nearby fountain, chirping birds and a soft breeze rustling through the trees. A series of statues rise nearly three stories in the air with intricate displays of flowering plants and paved stairways leading to their bases. The center is open daily from dawn until dusk and all are welcome, said Ron Henderson, a staff member who gives tours of the facility Wednesday through Sunday.
There are currently three massive statues that sit before a temple, a house for nuns and monks, a social dining hall, a gift shop and meditation areas. A fourth will be added in the coming months.
The massive statues include a “Nirvana Buddha,” which depicts Siddhārtha, the original Buddha whose teachings are the basis of most Buddhist practices. The Nirvana Buddha shows Siddhārtha depicted at age 80 just before his death. He has a smile on his face because he is at peace, said Henderson. The statue weighs 40 tons and is about 30 feet long, massive in all respects.
Across a landscaped park, a younger Siddhārtha, depicted at age 35, stands in front of a house that is currently home to one nun and three monks. The statue is 35 feet tall and about 200 tons, said Henderson, and is the largest Buddha statue in the state. Across the pond stands Mother Avalokitesvara, the Bodhisattva of peace and compassion. Avalokitesvara is a female Buddhist figure who greets Buddhists in the afterlife, helping the dead achieve nirvana or become reborn. The statue is 32 feet tall and weighs around 60 tons. She is framed by tall pillars and palm trees, a centerpiece of the sprawling facility.
A fourth statue of a baby Buddha will be added this summer and stand facing Mother Avalokitesvara. It will also rise 35 feet and weigh 200 tons. The statute will be the final addition to the center, said Henderson, and is the result of a fundraising campaign. It costs about $80,000 to get the statue sculpted in Vietnam. It then costs around $200,000 to ship the statue and another $50,000 to set it in place. The statues are made of granite and sit atop a concrete base. White Sands gets its funding completely through donations, said Henderson and money is not collected from visitors. “A plate is never passed,” he said.
Florida Today Feb.10
(Publisher’s comments: The untold thousands of Chin Baptists and other Christian believers who have escaped from Buddhist persecution, and are now in the U.S., might have something to say about how peaceful the Buddhist religion is. Like Islam, it is peaceful when they are in control.)
Spring Unregistered Baptist Fellowship Meeting
March 19 – 20, 2018
Victory Baptist Church
Johnny Jarriel, Host Pastor