A recently completed body of work came from the Dhammakaya Temple located in Pathum Thani Province on the outskirts of Bangkok. Over several months I visited their incredible ceremonies one by one and was awestruck by each. It’s one of the world’s most influential movements, staging Hollywood-style epic ceremonies involving hundreds of thousands of participants and observers, yet few are even aware of Dhammakaya, despite its worldwide centers, millions of members and 24-hour satellite broadcasts. Even in its home base of Thailand, most people know of its influence and prominent members, but little of how the temple actually works, why it attracts such reverent followers or the exact philosophy it follows.
The ceremonies are a photographers dream although their sheer size makes them tricky to cover all the angles in one go. But I was lucky enough to be given fantastic access to the ceremonies that truly left me astounded. Writer Ron Gluckman (www.gluckman.com) came a long to several of the ceremonies to write a piece about the temple.