Prof. Jinsun Park
World Religions: Hsi Lai Buddhist Temple
The Hsi Lai Temple is a place of spirituality and education of the Buddhist cultural and religion. Hsi Lai Temple is the largest Buddhist temple in the U.S. and was funded by donations from devotees from around the world. This establishment has beautiful Chinese monasteries in regards to its beautiful gardens, architecture and history from other several places like Japan and Thailand and several more. The temples construction was completed in 1988 and is located in Hacienda Heights. Hsi Lai means “coming to the West” and signifies the dedication of the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Order to spread the teachings of the Buddha to those in the West.(1)
I visited the Hsi Lai Temple on a Tuesday at 10 am. I wanted to see the establishment in the daylight just before the peak of the day. Being a Christian more prayer and dedication is usually done in the morning; therefore I wanted to see if there were any comparisons in these two religions. Over the years, a certain co-worker has always said she will pray for me and has given me statues and leaflets of whom she worships. She is Buddhist, and being amazed at just the statues alone, I always replied yes and welcomed her prayers. I really don’t have much knowledge of this religion, but many small symbols recently have caught my attention, and I have noticed them at the temple, which now has me more so very intrigued.
My experience at the Hsi Lai Temple was amazing. The beauty that radiates from the temple is a wonder feeling that left me with a jaw dropping moment. It also gave off a sense of peace and calm, and a feeling of being safe. As I approached the temple it has lovely green gardens to both sides, with little Buddha’s everywhere and a wise saying to the right. It stated, “the best thing in the world is happiness, the noblest deed in the world is forming affinities”, I knew at that moment, I was in a peaceful place....
Cited: Molloy, Michael. Experiencing the World’s Religions: Tradition, Challenge, and
Change. New York: New York 2010
Fo Guang Shan Hsi Lai Temple Information Pamphlet: www.fgs.org.tw
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