Austin is the state capital of Texas, an inland city bordering the Hill Country region. The city is known for its eclectic live-music scene centered around country, blues and rock. It is also famous for its parks and lakes and these are popular for hiking, biking, swimming and boating. Even though his city is alive and bustling, you can also find Buddhist Temples scattered around the area. Buddhist temples provide a good place of worship or even a sanctuary of calm and peace. Buddhism is also a revered and respected religion in this area. Based on the teachings of Buddha, Buddhism teaches values like liberation, wisdom and insight. Even though the religion originates from India, it is widespread around the world. Here is a list of some of the Buddhist temples in Austin, Texas, USA.
1. Linh Son Buddhist Temple
Chua Linh-Son is a Buddhist Temple located in Austin Texas. Its community is predominantly Vietnamese but is often also visited by Chinese, Thai, Cambodians, Sri Lankans, Indians and Westerners. Since there are about 3000 to 5000 Vietnamese Buddhists in Austin, the chanting and services are performed in the Vietnamese language, and about 200 of these Vietnamese are students in the language and culture classes each week. Major holidays observed include Trung Thu, Vu-Lan, Tet, and the Buddha’s birthday. The youth association is very active and enjoys events like cookouts and camping trips, very much like Boy/Girl Scouts.
2. Fo Guang Shan Xiang Yun Temple
This temple is one of many branches all around the world and across multiple continents. It was founded by Master Hsing Yun in China and through the years as the teachings spread, he came to the United States and could share those teachings. Since then, multiple Buddhist Temples following his teachings have been built in various states in the country. Daily life in the temple starts at the break of dawn, beginning with the sounding of a wooden board, and continues to follow a schedule with strict punctuality. It is then followed by morning chanting, a morning meal, cleaning up, work, an afternoon break, Dharma lessons, self-study and then the end of the day which is marked by a double “knock” on the wooden board.
3. Palri Pema Od Ling
Palri Pema is a temple for Nyingma Buddhist meditation in Austin, Texas. This temple has a weekly as well as a monthly schedule for meditations, and festivals. The temple is associated with a few centers and activities such as Tashi Choling – a Center for Buddhist studies, Orgyen Dorje Den – a center for the study of Tibetian Buddhism in the Nyingma Tradition, Vimala – propagating the Dharma, Palyul Ling Internation, and many more.
Appamada is a center for Zen practice, study, and inquiry with a relational focus. The name itself comes from a Pali word meaning mindful, active care. Everything that is taught and done is with Zazen at the heart of it. The weekly schedule includes Morning Zazen, a service and dharma talk, orientation and so on.
5. Thien Hau Temple
The temple was completely built in 2001 and is one among about 1500 other Thien Hau temples. They are all dedicated to Mazu, the most pious God worshipped by families of fishermen and sailors in the Chinese culture. In addition to Mazu, the Austin Thien Hau temple is also dedicated to worship Guan-di, Prince Nezha, Tu Di Gong, Li Tao Ming, Master St. It also enshrines Sakyamuni Buddha, Amitabha Buddha, Bhaisajyaguru Buddha, Guanyin Buddha, Ksitigharba Buddha, and their birthdays are also celebrated here.
6. Austin Shambhala Meditation Center
This meditation center is located in the south of downtown Austin and it offers free meditation instruction and public meditation hours. They also have many ongoing meditation programs. The teaching is an extensive path of training in authentic meditation practices and wisdom teachings. Contemplative Arts comprise a number of secular disciplines and activities, including flower arrangements and photography. The Shambhala Vision is rooted in the principle that every human being has a fundamental nature of basic goodness. This nature can be developed in daily life so that it radiates out to family, friends, community and society. It is originated from the Tibetian tradition.
7. Diamond Way Buddhist Center
This center belongs to an international non-profit network of over 600 Diamond way centers of Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetian Buddhism, founded by Lama Ole Nydahl under the spiritual guidance of H.H. the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, Trinley Thaye Dorje. This Buddhism offers practical and effective methods to realize the mind’s richness for the benefit of all. It works with people’s confidence and desire, using every situation in life to develop fearlessness and joy. Newcomers are always presented with a basic introduction and meditations are guided in English.
8. Austin Buddhist Vihara
Austin Buddhist Vihara was founded in 2006 under the patronage of the resident monks, as a place of observance of the Theravada principles of Buddhism. Resident monks include Kehelovitigama Subodha Thero, Nalaka Thero and Nedagamuwe Pragnaloka Thero. Panditha Yatagama Sumanajothi Thero was the Chief Resident Monk. ABV Dharma School is held on the first and third Sunday of every month from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
9. Austin Buddhist Center
In Buddhist tradition, the teachings are given freely because they are considered priceless. Your generosity is a gift that supports not just the teachers, but also the Sangha, the larger Dharma community, and your own practice. This center is a non-profit tax-exempt organization founded under the patronage of Ven Pandit Eluwapola Gnanaratana Nayaka Thero. Austin Buddhist Center is dedicated as a center for the spiritual development of all human beings through the teachings of Buddha. The primary goal is to offer Buddha’s teachings and meditation guidance to both children and adults for spiritual growth and inner peace.
10. Kadampa Meditation Center
Kadampa Meditation Center is located in the heart of downtown Austin, three blocks from the State Capitol building. KMC Austin is part of the New Kadampa Tradition, International Kadampa Buddhist Union, founded by world-renowned meditation master, teacher and author, Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. Kadampa Buddhism, as introduced into the west by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, is a very pure and ancient form of Buddhism. It is clear and profound, yet relatively easy to understand and put into practice amidst the pressures and bustles of modern life. The meditation classes taught at KMC are suitable for everyone, from those who seek simple relaxation to those who wish to find lasting inner peace and contentment through following the Buddhist path.
A way to peace and calm
If you are seeking a peaceful experience in the beautiful destination of Austin, Texas, the above destinations are a must visit. Explore and partake of the culture and ethos of Buddhism. These temples and meditation centers in and around Austin allow you to partake of spiritual retreats, reflect on yourself through chants and even engage in discussions with monks. The experience here will surely be peaceful and bring you to harmony.
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