Welcome to the Quan Am Buddhist Temple, an inviting place to learn and practice meditation techniques.
Please join us every Thursday evening from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. for sitting and walking meditation, followed by group discussion.
Our Thursday evening meditation and discussion group welcomes all who are interested in learning about Buddhism and practicing to enrich their spiritual lives.
The temple belongs to the Vietnamese community and the members have been very kind to allow us to meet on Thursday evenings at their temple. Even though all services provided are free, donations are welcome. Our teacher, a Vietnamese monk, whom we refer to as Thay (which means “teacher” in Vietnamese) is in Japan at present where he is pursuing his doctoral degree in Religious Studies. He was with us from 2004-2010 and was an excellent and compassionate teacher.
When he left, we told him we would miss him and he said, “I am not taking the Dharma (the teachings of the Buddha) with me.” Our teacher insisted that we should carry on meeting to meditate and study Buddhism. Even when he was with us, our teacher never called himself our teacher or referred to himself as the leader of the group. He always said, “We are all Dharma friends here and we learn from each other. I learn from you and you learn from me. There is no leader here. Whatever we do, we do selflessly—that means, without any sense of self.” One of the greatest ways of making merit, and one of the greatest acts of generosity, in Buddhism is sharing the Dharma. So, even though we do not have a teacher, we still meet and learn from each other; we still come and share the Dharma.
Most of the people who come to our Thursday meetings are Americans. Not all members are Buddhist, and we have people from different faiths and all walks of life. We try to keep the atmosphere as democratic as possible. Even though particular members may take on the role of timekeeper or meditation instructor or Dharma coordinator and so on, there is an understanding that no one is a leader or in charge of the group.
Among the folks who come, most know how to meditate. However, we are willing to provide simple instructions to people who have never meditated before.
As for the discussions on Buddhism, most of us are learners and we learn from each other and from the texts we are reading. People are very respectful towards each other as we reflect on what is meaningful in the reading and how it relates to our daily lives. People are nice, kind, and friendly and we try our best to practice what we are studying.
Whenever we mentioned the Sutras (Buddhist scriptures containing the Buddha’s teachings), our teacher always pointed to his heart and said, “Study this sutra first,” meaning that the goal of our practice is to get to know ourselves. As we continue our journey, we invite you to join us.