Field Trip to Hsi Lai Temple

Topics: Buddhism, Fo Guang Shan, Hsing Yun Pages: 1 (323 words) Published: October 20, 2013


Hsi Lai Temple

Growing up as a Buddhist, my family and I would go to temple at least once a year to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Even though I have been going to temple, I did not even realize that there was so much I did not know about the culture until my recent visit to the Hsi Lai Temple in Hacienda Heights with my geography class. The name Hsi Lai stands for “coming to the West”. The temple, which was founded by Venerable Master Hsing Yun, signifies the dedication of Taiwan’s largest Buddhist organizations called the Fo Guang Shan. It took ten years to build the temple and was completed in 1988. People come here for private prayers, meditation, and formal teachings. The first thing I saw when people arrive to the temple is they would grab incense and pray to the two guardians who protect the temple from evil. After that, they enter the shrine and begin to pray and leave food on the altar for Buddha. All the food that is donated will be shared to everyone at the temple. This is to show that what you give to others will also be what you receive which can be good karma. After I walked past the entrance, there were two gardens in the middle and a huge court where they perform a Chinese dance on special occasions. The landscape was very beautiful and the atmosphere was very relaxing. I felt at peace and calm when I was at the temple. After walking past the court, the main shrine was located above the stairs. I was breathless as I observed the architecture in this incredible building. It houses 10,000 Buddhas that surrounded the entire room, with Amitabha, Shakyamuni & the Medicine Buddha displayed in the back. After our field trip had ended, I managed to come back to this shrine, light incense and kneel on the red couch to say a prayer.
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