Hsi Lai Temple
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- 98%Spiritual Seekers
Member Reviews (15)Write a review
- Hsi Lai TempleMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsFoodies+ 2First to ReviewFeb 02, 2014
This is the largest Buddhist monastery and temple complex in the Western Hemisphere. Visitors are welcome. Self-guided tours are available. The architecture is faithful to the traditional style of buildings, gardens and statuary of ancient Chinese monasteries. The grounds include a small museum, part of which contains periodically changed displays of Chinese art. The museum's permanent exhibits include a display of Chinese micro carvings, viewed through magnifying glasses.
- Hsi Lai TempleMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsBudget Travelers+ 3Jan 22, 2014
Magnificent. Serene. Tranquil. Astonishing.
Superlatives fail to do justice in describing Hsi Lai Temple.
I finally made a trip to Hacienda Heights to visit Hsi Lai Temple. The largest Buddhist temple in the Americas. I was breathless as I viewed the elaborate architecture & gardens that welcome Buddhists & non-Buddhists alike.
The Bodhisattva Hall is the first building visitors enter, displaying the bodhisattva's Samantabhadra, Ksitigarbha, Maitreya, Avalokitesvara,& Manjusri. Photos aren't allowed inside. Preconfigured offering plates are available for donation & visitors can bring their own as well.
The Information Center has various literature avaiable on the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Order, Buddhism in general & the many activities going on at the temple. Complimentary hot tea & coffee are available to enjoy while sitting. Guided tours by a docent are available at certain times of the day, of which I took the first English tour avaiable.
The Buddha's Birthday Education Project is a building who's purpose is to display the life of Shakyamuni & the spread of Buddhism throughout the world. Crafts workshops are available to make keepsakes such as bracelets, and visitors are treated to hot tea/water & adorable elephant-shaped cake pops.
The Main Shrine houses "10,000 Buddhas" which encircles the entire room, with Amitabha, Shakyamuni & the Medicine Buddha prominently displayed in the rear. It's a pleasure to behold, with the sight of gold sculptures & the smell of incense in the air. No photos are allowed here, either. Seeing people kneeling in prostration & with their silent thoughts in their minds, made me forget about the trivial worries that assault my daily life.
The Memorial Pagoda is located at the very back of the premises. I don't think it's open to the public, but I had the good fortune to be allowed to visit, which I am deeply grateful. I enjoyed this building the most. Sometimes, the greatest, most memorable things aren't the biggest and/or most extravagant.
The Dining Hall has an AYCE vegetarian buffet w/ a donation of $7. It wasn't 5-star food, but I wasn't expecting 5-star food. I enjoyed my meal, knowing the money will be used promoting the Dharma. I'm definitely glad chili sauce was available, as it greatly added to the taste of the food.
Outside the entrance of the Dining Hall & in front of the Tea Room/Bookstore, fresh cooked stuffed pastries are available for purchase w/ either red bean or custard filling 3/$2.
I chose 2 custard & 1 red bean. Be careful. These suckers are hot! I burned the roof of my mouth a couple of times. Okay, more than a couple ;P-
Delicious little treats, with custard being my preference.
The Arhat Garden has a small bell, located in the lower right, which when hit w/ a coin, offers various fortunes.
I hit the bell 5 times because I'm a boss........er, I mean, because I faithfully adhere to the Four Noble Truths & the Eightfold Path ;P
I spent around 6 hours here & I felt absolutely serene & at peace. I spent time in meditation in the halls, gathered useful information during the tour & had a full stomach from the Dinihg Hall & pastries. No doubt, I'll be back to once again find solace & a wonderful place to gather my thoughts.
I highly recommend visiting Hsi Lai Temple to find a delightful oasis hidden amongst the hills in Hacienda Heights. It's a perfect daytrip that you won't regret.Recommended for:
- Hsi Lai TempleApr 14, 2013
Easily one of the best buddhist temples on the West Side. It has amazing architectural design and layout that makes it one of the largest temples. Located snuggly fit on a hill slope right off the street makes it an easy place to spot and access. One of my favorite features of this temple is the blessing well found in a garden on the left side of the temple. It is said that if you are able to manage to bounce a coin (basically to make a bell ring sound) three times, then you will be blessed. It's a larger challenge than you think but it's definitely worth the try!
- Hsi Lai TempleMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsBudget Travelers+ 2Aug 27, 2012
Peace. Tranquility. Quiet. All of those things you can find here. The grounds are open to the public during normal business hours. They do have seminars you can sign up for. You'll find hordes of people during the big Chinese holidays like Chinese New Year. Hsi Lai Temple has a great vegetarian lunch during the weekends.