Buddhist Centre Visit – Serenity Project

I honestly don’t think there can be anywhere that feels more serene than the Samye Ling Buddhist Centre in Eskdalemuir, Scotland. I’ve visited here a number of times over the years and have seen many changes as the centre has grown and extended around the central temple.

It’s hard to explain the feelings of calm and tranquillity that can be felt throughout grounds, there are prayer flags, lanterns and offerings scattered around and if you are lucky enough to be there when the monks are praying in the temple it’s an experience not to be missed. I know little about Buddhism but I love how welcoming this place is, it’s perfectly acceptable to go sit in the temple during prayers as long as you remove your shoes. The prayers consist of chanting and bang of drums and large gongs, I don’t understand a word but somehow the experience is both relaxing and uplifting.

It’s not really possible to capture the feeling of this place in images, I’ve tried but I don’t think I’ve done it justice…

For the first time in a long time I haven’t shot with a Lensbaby! I’ve recently purchased a Fuji X-T20 so that I can carry much less weight around with me and I’m experimenting with different lenses. I’ll be back to Lensbabies very soon though!

Next up in this month’s Serenity Circle is Eileen Critchley, an Ohio photographer. Please click here to head over and pay her a visit and be sure to click through the links for lots of inspiring images.


  • Wendy

    I never knew such a place existed here in Scotland Janet. I love your photos. I have seen places in Scotland with materials tied to trees. There’s a couple of such places around Aberdeenshire which your images reminded me about. I was in Edinburgh one time and a Bhuddhist monk dropped his bell. I remember picking it up for him. I was studying theology in Edinburgh at the the time and was at The Mound with some of the other students when he passed by. He was with other monks and they had been walking some distance I believe. I just wanted to help as he seemed so weary. He just nodded and didn’t say anything. This was over 25+ years ago, but I remember it well still.

    • Janet Broughton

      I think this is the only place of it’s sort in Europe Wendy and it’s amazing. I’ll bet your monk didn’t speak English. When my daughter was small we visited here and sat in the back of the temple during prayers, we were both sat cross legged and she was mesmerised. As the prayers finished a very old monk lead the others out past us and when he saw her he stopped and smiled and touched her head and said a few words in Tibetan, he didn’t speak English but it was such a lovely moment for all of us!

      • Wendy

        Sounds lovely Janet. The Tibetan monks are so sincere to what they believe. Anderson for many.

  • Eileen

    What a gorgeous and serene place to visit! I love the images you created.

    • Janet Broughton

      Thanks Eileen, it’s amazing and hard to do it justice in a few images!

  • Jillian

    These are all so beautiful Janet! I love all the little details you captured and how you used colour and depth to capture the mood. There is a Buddhist Centre about an hour away from here, so I must visit one day!

    • Janet Broughton

      Thanks Jillian. I can highly recommend visiting, I’m not a religious person but this place always moves me.

  • Nancy Armstrong

    Janet this sounds and looks like such a wonderful place to visit. I would love to see it some day! Great job of capturing the feel of the place visually in your photos.

    • Janet Broughton

      It’s amazing Nancy, I hope one day you make it there!

  • Wendy

    P.d. Meant to say, you rocked this non Lensababy lens! 🙂

    • Janet Broughton

      Thanks! It feels odd not to have some Lensbaby blur!!

  • Lori

    I love how you’ve captured all the details you found here. It really tells a story.

    • Janet Broughton

      Thanks Lori!

  • Joan Showers

    Janet, I love how you captured the details and the big pictures of the Buddhist Centre. I went to one in Shanghai two years ago and was so moved. I videoed the sounds of the chanting which I listen to occasionally as it brings me to such a centered place.

    • Janet Broughton

      I always feel moved when I visit and I totally understand how the chants make you feel centred.

  • Ray McMurray

    I’ve been on retreat at Dhanakosa near Loch Lomond a couple of times, as well as other Buddhist retreat centres in England and Wales. They are all great for becoming still and peaceful, and for slowing down generally, in my experience. I hope you can manage a gentle return to ‘normal’ life after your retreat, which is sometimes a challenge!

    • Janet Broughton

      That must be a fantastic experience Ray, unfortunately for me this was just an afternoon visit but I would love to do a yoga retreat here at some point.

  • Amy Smith

    You’ve definitely captured the feelings and peace of the Centre. Fantastic details – colors, textures and love that you did this with your Lensbaby. Well done!

    • Janet Broughton

      Thanks so much Amy! These were actually with a 7Artisans lens rather than a Lensbaby. Still manual focus but without the lovely Lensbaby blur!