10 Buddhist Temples In Chicago, Illinois

buddhist temples in chicago
| 5 min read

Chicago is one of the most populated cities in the United States and the largest city of the state of Illinois. The city is known for its beautiful skyline which rivals other major cities, with the iconic John Hancock Centre, Willis Tower, and Tribune Tower. Being such a populated city, Chicago is home to many people of different races and religions, including Buddhism. There are many Buddhist temples to visit, each and every one with a unique history and beautiful architecture to boot, and sure to give you some enlightenment on your trip to Chicago. Scroll down to read about ten buddhist temples in the city of Chicago!

1. Zen Buddhist Temple

Fall Sangha Day tonight at 6pm! Join your fellow temple members for a short chanting service and a vegetarian potluck....

Posted by Original Face! Friends of Zen Buddhist Temple-Chicago on Saturday, 22 September 2018

When the current premises of the Zen Buddhist Temple was first bought in 1992, it was extremely run down and had to be cleaned up and repaired by volunteers from the Toronto branch of the temple. It took almost two years of work for the temple to become the beautiful building it is today. Decorated with beautiful intricate designs in stunning colours of green, red, blue and splashes of yellow and pink, the temple offers public services every Sunday morning at 10 am.

Zen Buddhist Temple

Address: 1710 W Cornelia Ave, Chicago, IL 60657, USA

Website: Zen Buddhist Temple

Entry fee: 5 USD suggested donation

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2. Thai Buddhist Temple

Posted by Sam Maha on Monday, 16 April 2018

Thai Buddhist Temple, also known as Wat Dhammaram to the locals, is an iconic place for the Thai Buddhist community. Many in the Thai community find solace in this temple, where the community is majority Thai-speaking. This temple has a beautiful golden Buddha statue and shrine right in the entrance of the main room. The community also regularly celebrates Thai holidays, such as the Songkan festival, the ancient Thai New Year celebration, where they open their doors to many people around the city for Thai food and a good time.

Thai Buddhist Temple

Address: 7059 W 75th St, Chicago, IL 60638, USA

Website: Thai Buddhist Temple

Entry fee: NIL

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3. Midwest Buddhist Temple

Midwest Buddhist Temple
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Alberto Aldana used under CC BY-SA 2.5

Midwest Buddhist Temple is a temple dedicated to Shin Buddhism and known in the city for its Ginza Holiday celebrations. It is a three-day food and cultural festival that has continued each August from the temple’s first beginnings up till today. The temple maintains a beautiful minimalist decor on the outside, with the golden shrine indoors brightening up the room. The temples offers Sunday morning family services, plus meditation services on Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings, which are open to everyone who is interested. There are also temple and garden tours available.

Midwest Buddhist Temple

Address: 435 W Menomonee St, Chicago, IL 60614, USA

Website: Midwest Buddhist Temple

Entry fee: NIL

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4. Zen Buddhist Temple of Chicago

Sesshin (retreat) in Northbrook_1

Posted by Zen Buddhist Temple of Chicago on Monday, 23 November 2009

Zen Buddhist Temple of Chicago has been open since 1949, offering Buddhist teachings to the public since then. The temple is mostly dedicated to the practice of Zazen, seated meditation, to help people realise their true selves. The temple features a calming scenery of the garden through the tall glass windows and truly gives you peace of mind as you meditate. Their regular Zen meditation sessions, which are held three times a week, are open to beginners and newcomers, so feel free to join them to experience this bliss.

Zen Buddhist Temple of Chicago

Address: 608 Dempster Street, Evanston, IL 60202, USA

Website: Zen Buddhist Temple of Chicago

Entry fee: NIL

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5. Bultasa Buddhist Temple

Posted by Joanne Rhee on Monday, 2 February 2015

Located just a few blocks from the Montrose train station, the Bultasa Buddhist Temple is run by the Korean Buddhist community in Chicago. They offer weekly Sunday morning Zen sessions, which are open to adults of all ages, even beginnners are welcome. They feature multiple forms of meditation including movement chanting and formal sitting, with a focus on spiritual awareness. They also have Wednesday meditation sessions for regular members.

Bultasa Buddhist Temple

Address: 4360 W Montrose Ave, Chicago, IL 60641, USA

Website: Bultasa Buddhist Temple

Entry fee: NIL

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6. Ling Shen Ching Tze Temple

A room lined in Buddha statues in the local Buddhist temple.

Posted by Susan Rayner Interiors on Monday, 16 October 2017

Ling Shen Ching Tze Temple is the first Tantric Dharma Buddhist temple to be opened in Chicago, which is devoted to the teaching of Taoism, Sutrayana and Tantric philosophies. The red-bricked building, which once belonged to Emmanuel Presbyterian Church, displays Vajrayana Buddhist embellishments and statues outside, as well as in the prayer rooms. In fact, there is a beautiful and extensive collection of Buddhist artefacts and relics that anyone is sure to appreciate.

Ling Shen Ching Tze Temple

Address: 1035 W 31st St, Chicago, IL 60608, USA

Website: Ling Shen Ching Tze Temple

Entry fee: NIL

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7. Chicago Shaolin Temple

Posted by Chicago Shaolin Temple on Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Chicago Shaolin Temple started as a charitable organisation, hoping to spread the message of Shaolin culture to the city of Chicago, through training and charitable acts. The temple mainly promotes the Shaolin culture through martial arts classes. The Shaolins believe that Kung Fu has an important aspect for their religious pursuit in Buddhism. There are also other branches in New York, Boston and Denver. The martial art classes are free to observe, and you can join a trial class at USD 20.

Chicago Shaolin Temple

Address: 2919 S Archer Ave, Chicago, IL 60608, USA

Website: Chicago Shaolin Temple

Entry fee: NIL

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8. Nichiren Buddhist Temple

Posted by Helen Irawati on Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Nichiren Buddhist Temple practices the denomination of Buddhism as taught by Nichiren Daishonin, the True Buddha, who made his advent in Japan in 1222. The temple, specifically referred to as the Myogyoji Temple, is one of the six Nichiren temples in the United States. They have daily Shodai and Gongyo prayer sessions in the morning and evening, where all are welcome to come and join in. They also celebrate the monthly Oko ceremony, as well as other significant Nichiren ceremonies and celebrations.

Nichiren Buddhist Temple

Address: 4216 N Paulina St, Chicago, IL 60613, USA

Website: Nichiren Buddhist Temple

Entry fee: NIL

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9. Buddhist Temple of Chicago

Sunday January 6 at 11am is the monthly memorial service. Sutra study (open to all) is at 12:30pm

Posted by Buddhist Temple of Chicago on Thursday, 3 January 2019

Buddhist Temple of Chicago is a diverse Buddhist temple in the historic Uptown neighbourhood of Chicago. They offer weekly English service, which is great for newcomers, educational classes, meditation sessions on Thursdays and Sundays, as well as many cultural offerings and events. Newcomers are welcome to their services with open arms. They also have regular Interfaith services where they invite those from other religions to contribute to their service.

Buddhist Temple of Chicago

Address: 1151 W Leland Ave, Chicago, IL 60640, USA

Website: Buddhist Temple of Chicago

Entry fee: NIL

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10. Natural Buddhist Meditation Temple of Greater Chicago

Posted by Wat Pa Chicago (วัดป่าชิคาโก) on Monday, 30 July 2018

The Natural Buddhist Meditation Temple of Greater Chicago is located in Burbank, about a half-an-hour drive from the city of Chicago. The temple is run by a Thai Buddhist community. It is beautifully decorated, with two large golden Buddha statues in their prayer room, that are surely awe-worthy. The monks are dressed in orange robes and conduct regular prayer sessions. It is a smaller and more intimate temple, great for newcomers from the Thai Buddhist community. The backyard has some beautiful greenery and is a peaceful backdrop for meditation sessions.

Natural Buddhist Meditation Temple of Greater Chicago

Address: 8243 Newland Ave, Burbank, IL 60459, USA

Website: Natural Buddhist Meditation Temple of Greater Chicago

Entry fee: NIL

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Keep calm and meditate

All of these temples come from different branches and denominations of Buddhism, from Shaolin to Taoism. You are sure to find a temple that is suited to you for you to join, or even just to pay a respectful visit to during your time in Chicago.

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Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Nicole, a university student with a passion for both bustling metropolises and charming, undiscovered treasures, finds great delight in her travels. Her exploration of new places is enhanced by her...Read more

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