A Nan Monastery & Buddhist Statue Park

    When you live in Gainesville Florida, making a spiritual journey doesn’t have to involve uprooting your life or buying an airplane ticket to far off places; Alachua County is already home to a diverse group of religious organizations offering unique and uplifting experiences just a short drive from home. One such local enlightenment ‘hot spot’ is the ‘A Nan Monastery and Buddhist Statue Park’. Built in 2010, the ‘A Nan Monastery’ is situated on a serene forested park in southeast Gainesville near the University of Florida and features a statue garden consisting of three large-scale Buddhist statues from Vietnam that were installed on the property in January 2017 and weigh a combined 85 tons. The massive statues represent  three different elements of Buddhist practice: the 28 foot-tall sitting Buddha statue symbolizes enlightenment and the escape of suffering; the 45 foot-tall statue ‘Avalokitesvara’ located in the center of the park is a representation of the goddess of compassion and healing, and the 33 foot-long reclining statue is a depiction of a sleeping Buddha and signifies his passing away. A monastery is an ideal place for tourists, Buddhists and students alike to visit for worship, to cultivate their spiritual lives and learn about Buddha’s teachings. Located at 2120 SE 15th Street Gainesville, FL 32641, the monastery and statue garden are open people of any faith and origin and the monastery’s hours of operation are 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM Sunday through Saturday.

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