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Kindness and compassion found at Hsi Lao Temple, Hacienda Heights

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For anyone who shows an interest in Chinese culture and in Buddhism, this is the place to visit. The order’s master, Hsing Yun, is recognized world-wide for his dedication in promoting Humanistic Buddhism.

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What is Humanistic Buddhism you ask? As stated on the temple’s website: “Humanistic Buddhism is a basic philosophy of life that encourages us to integrate the Buddha's teachings of kindness, compassion, joyfulness, and equanimity into our daily lives for the benefit of ourselves as well as others. In addition, it teaches us the ways to cultivate the wisdom that clearly understands the true nature of all things.”

Humanistic Buddhism embraces all people, all faiths, and promotes well-being and spiritual progress of humanity, bridging beliefs of East and West in a kind and compassionate way. The order also promotes a vegetarian diet, supporting the idea that it is good for your health. Moreover, it conditions the mind to be more compassionate toward all living beings, including the animals. Buddhism advocates the love for animals and supports their right to live.

The stunning Hsi Lai Temple was built in 1988, on 15 acres of land. The building itself sprawls over 102,000 square feet, featuring Ming and Ching dynasty architecture. Its purpose is to serve as a spiritual center for searchers interested in learning more about Buddhism. Hsi Lai means “coming to the West”. However, the organization's headquarters is in Taiwan. More than 1,300 monks and nuns serve in this Buddhist order.

Hsi Lai Temple offers free guided tours, covering the gardens, courtyard and the Main Shrine, which takes about forty-five minutes. Regular temple events include a weekly chanting service held in the Main Shrine, children’s Sunday school, a monthly community service event, a Hsi Lai subchapter meeting, and of course tours for the many regular visitors. 2014 summer classes teach the core of Buddhism, Sutra and Buddhist Chanting and Etiquette.