Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Zen of Field Tripping ($10 tour)

Roshi Jeff Albrizze, Wisdom Quarterly; The Buddhist Progress Society (
Hsi Lai Temple ("Going West" Monastery), Hacienda Heights, suburban Los Angeles, CA
Hillside parking lot, main entrance, Hsi Lai (Jesse Kaplan/
Courtyard with dining hall behind
PasaDharma provides a place to practice Zen. With an idea of having no ideas but "just sitting," the trip often remains on the mat. However, on Saturday (March 29) the local sangha will take up mats and walk around the grounds of the largest Buddhist temple complex in the western hemisphere: Hsi Lai ("Going West") on a hill that separates the eastern suburbs of Los Angeles from Orange County. This is a field trip.

Carpooling provided from Pasadena at 10:30 am. Those driving themselves are invited to meet at the temple at 11:00 am or join the carpool caravan going east to the temple. Chinese vegetarian lunch at 11:30 am. Tour starts at 1:30 and concludes at 3:00 pm.
  • Saturday March 29th, 2014
  • 3456 S. Glenmark Drive
  • Hacienda Heights, CA 91745
What is Hsi Lai?
WQ at Hsi Lai full moon observance
This massive Taiwanese Mahayana Buddhist temple encompasses 15 acres and a floor area of 102,430 square feet. The temple's dynastic Ming (1268-1644 CE) and Ching (1644-1911 CE) architecture is reflected in its buildings, gardens, fountains, and statuary. Chinese speakers may regard Hsi Lai as "Coming to the West," signifying the dedication of the Buddha's Light Mountain (Fo Guang Shan) Buddhist Order to spread the teachings of the Buddha to the Western world. It is incluseve and provides Theravada as well as Mahayana teachings, having established the first Buddhist universities (University of the West) in the US. The founder, Ven. Master Hsing Yun, had previously established Fo Guang Shan, the largest monastery in Taiwan, which encompasses over 600 acres.

Going West under a full moon (WQ)
The temple was built to serve as a spiritual and cultural center for those interested in learning more about Buddhism and Taiwanese/Chinese cultural practices. This form of Mahayana came to be called "Humanistic Buddhism" aimed at creating a "Pure Land" on Earth. Built to fulfill these goals in the USA, the temple's objectives are to benefit society through charitable programs, nurture missionary activity through education, spread Dharma through rich cultural observances, and to edify people through traditional Buddhist practices.

RSVP (Roshi Jeff Albrizze at 626.529.4074 or so an advanced count can be provided to the temple.
CARPOOL: Meet at the Pasadena School District parking lot, 351 S. Hudson Ave., Pasadena, cross street East Del Mar Blvd.
MEET: Main entrance outside first Buddha Hall at 11:00 am; the group will then proceed together to dining hall for lunch, followed by tour starting at the Information Center at 1:30 pm.
DRESS: Out of respect dress comfortably but appropriately: avoid tank tops, shorts, or mini-skirts, smoking, and please avoid bringing meats of any kind or outside foods and beverages.
DONATION: $9 (cash only) per person covers delicious all-you-care-to-eat buffet Chinese vegetarian lunch. Museum admission is an additional $1. There is also a temple gift shop with prayer beads (malas), Dharma books, statuettes, souvenirs, and art.

Humanistic Buddhism & Leadership Online Certificate Program (

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