January 9, 2024
PHNOM PENH – In a bid to encourage local and international Buddhists to embrace meditation and deepen their understanding of Buddha’s teachings, the Ministry of Environment is constructing a meditation site within the Buddhist Cultural Centre of Cambodia, nestled in Kirirom national park.
Minister Eang Sophalleth, after inspecting the site in Kampong Speu province on January 6, said it is designed to purify the mind, leading individuals to inner peace and happiness.
He underscored its dual purpose of promoting Buddhist culture and showcasing natural resources, aligned with his ministry’s Circular Strategy on Environment 2023-28. The strategy aims to translate the potential of the environmental sector into tangible benefits for Cambodia and its people across generations.
“We’re creating a special space for Buddhists to meditate, featuring modern Khmer tents that stand out from the rest. This place is destined to become a legacy for the next generation of Cambodian children. For our trial phase, we plan to set up five to 10 tents,” he said.
Sophalleth noted the ministry’s goal of fostering environmental responsibility within communities. He said there is a connection between conservation efforts and improved livelihoods, as the construction also aims to boost income for the locals.
Chhort Bunthang, a research fellow at the Royal Academy of Cambodia (RAC), voiced his support for the initiative, praising the site’s fresh air and abundant natural beauty.
Bunthang mentioned the need for the ministry to prepare meditation specialists, providing instruction for Buddhists and visitors to promote calmness and self-awareness.
“In our advanced society, people today face numerous mental challenges. This meditation space serves as a remedy, purifying hearts and minds to address these issues,” he said.
“It plays a role in boosting tourism, as Cambodian and international tourists support the products sold by nearby residents,” he added.
He said that with a thriving local economy, residents and communities would grow, fostering the practice of meditation and Buddhism.
The Buddhist Cultural Centre is being built on approximately 126ha within the park, officially known as Preah Suramarit-Kossamak Kirirom National Park, located in the eastern part of the Cardamom Mountains.
This centre is designed to facilitate research and deepen the understanding of Buddhism in Cambodia.