Wednesday, April 6 – The Houston Elks Lodge is located in a culturally diverse section of Houston. Today we took the opportunity to visit a Chung-Mei Buddhist Temple located across the street from the Elks.
Fifty years ago, Venerable Master began propagating Buddhism in the small rustic town of Llan Northern Taiwan. From very humble beginnings, Venerable Master has established over two hundred Fo Guang Shan Temples worldwide. Venerable Master has dedicated his life to raising the standard of Buddhist culture and education, taking Buddhism to national halls and onto international stages. It is now recognized as one of the world's major religions.
The Venerable Master realized Houston's unique geographical advantage as a city centrally located between North and South America. He decided to establish the temple here, anticipating that it will play a central role in the assimilation and propagation of the Eastern religion in a Western land. The temple is named “Chung Mei” Central America, because it not only signifies the unity between Eastern and Western cultures, but also symbolizes the integration of Asia and America.
We were welcomed to the Temple by the Reverend Dharma, a young lady, who has been in the Houston Temple for four years. She came here from Taiwan. She was delighted to give us a tour and answered our questions. There are numerous colorful Buddhas (Enlightened Beings) and Bodhisattvas (Compassionate Beings) lining on the sidewalls surrounding the Main Shrine. We were also given an explanation of the other objects on the shrine in the front of the Temple and invited us to attend a Sunday Meditation Service.
No inside pictures were permitted. The next two pictures are taken from their website.
The significance of the three Buddhas in the main temple from left to right.....
Amitabha Buddha (Pure Land); Lord Sakyamuni Buddha, the Great Teacher of Buddhism; Medicine Buddha, and Amitabha Buddha (Pure Land).
The other parts of the Temple are the Waterdrop Tea House, which is still under construction; a library, a meditation room, classrooms, and offices.
Outside is the Chan Garden with many Buddhist Statues and beautiful landscaping. It is also used for the Meditation garden.
Across the street is the Buddhist Cemetery, Columbarium Memorial Shrine. It is the second of what will be a ten building community that will be built on the 36 acre site. It is a memorial complex built to cherish the memory of the deceased.
One of the advantage of the full-time lifestyle is the opportunity to have so many different experiences. This is just another one of those experiences.
Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y’all back real soon. Have a great day!