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The Bodhi Tree Of Gratitude

Our UWC Thailand Bodhi Tree of Gratitude hangs here as a symbol of the time, talent and treasure that our community has generously given toward our school. The Bodhi Tree's historical and religious significance dates back 2,500 years ago, when the eventual founder of Buddhism, Siddhartha Gautama, left a life of luxury behind to seek enlightenment or the ultimate purpose of life.

According to ancient texts, devotees of Buddhism carried branches of the original Bodhi Tree to great distances and planted them in various locations. It is believed that any Bodhi Tree in existence around the world is a direct descendant of the one under which the Buddha had meditated. For Buddhists, the Bodhi Trees are revered as sacred living beings with a direct connection to their beloved spiritual teacher and leader. In many temples across Thailand and South-East Asia, the brass Bodhi leaf has become a symbol of wisdom, growth, and deliverance and is seen hanging at many sacred sites (often after a donation to the temple has been made).

The Tree of Gratitude holds a Bodhi leaf inscribed with the name of every donor in order to recognise the contributions made to the school since its inception as a UWC. In the centre of the UWC Thailand Tree of Gratitude hangs a large bell, in recognition of the school’s founder, Klaus Hebben, whose dedication to a life characterised by a good heart, balanced mind and healthy body continues to this day. Additional bells surround the individual leaves, and these are in recognition of major donors who have made significant contributions towards the school.