Hsi Lai Temple Visit

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For the class’ field trip assignment, I chose to visit a Hsi Lai Temple. This temple is the largest temple in America and is modeled after Chinese style of architecture. Before I even entered the temple itself, I was impressed by it’s beauty. As soon as I walked up the stairs from the parking lot, I was amazed yet overwhelmed by the sheer size of the temple. There were many things to see during my visit, as the temple features a variety of facilities such as a Bodhisattva Hall, garden, tea room, art gallery, meditation hall, harmony hall, and memorial pagoda. While making my way around Hsi Lai Temple, I was greeted by kind volunteers and felt at peace due to the quiet ambiance, lingering smell of incense, beautiful statues, and breathtaking …show more content…
Hsi Lai Temple serves as a place of Buddhist practice and an education center for people who are interested in learning about Buddhism. Upon arriving at the temple, I encountered a gateway that lists the four universal vows of Buddhists: “to save all sentient beings, to eradicate delusion and stress, to study the boundless Dharma, and to attain supreme enlightenment.” These are the goals that Buddhism aims for its followers to achieve, in hopes that they will someday achieve enlightenment too. For those who are seeking enlightenment and require some guidance, they can visit Hsi Lai Temple’s Arhat Garden; this is where statues of the Eighteen Arhats are displayed. The Arhats are disciples of Buddha, they overcame what Buddha claimed in the second Noble Truth to be the root of all suffering: desire, anger, and ignorance. They obtained spiritual enlightenment by understanding Buddha’s teachings that “everything is an illusion created by the five senses.” Therefore, they rid themselves of all passions, desires, and attachments in life. Each Arhat had their own unique way of practicing Buddha’s teachings and now serve as inspirations for many Buddhist practitioners today. In the Bodhisattva Hall, there are statues of five Bodhisattvas who are believed to protect and serve others with love, kindness and compassion. This is where visitors go to pray for protection and find hope in their daily lives, as each Bhodisattva represents a virtue that is important to all Buddhists. The Main Shrine of Hsi Lai temple, known as the “Precious Hall of the Great Hero,” is dedicated to Sakyamuni Buddha. “Born as Prince Siddhartha Gautama, he left his privileged life at the age of twenty-nine to seek the cause of life’s suffering in hopes of finding an answer that would liberate it.” He is known as the spiritual teacher and the founder of Buddhism. Therefore, he is recognized as the

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