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International Buddhist Society - 国际佛教观音寺

Monday 16 November 2015

Langues :

All the versions of this article: [English] [中文]

As a charitable, religious, and cultural organization established in 1981, the International Buddhist Society manages the International Buddhist Temple (also known as the Guan-Yin Temple). Until the temple’s opening ceremony in 1983, Buddhists in the Lower Mainland did not have an authentic Chinese temple in which to study and practice Chinese Mahayana Buddhism.

It all began in 1979, when two devout Buddhists from Hong Kong helped found the International Buddhist Society and donated one acre of land in Richmond for the construction of an authentic Chinese Buddhist temple. They also provided CAD$300,000 as the initial building fund. Their goal was to establish an influential voice in North America for introducing and advancing Buddhist philosophy and practices.

The International Buddhist Temple has six founding directors who were actively involved with managing the construction at the temple’s current site, which began in 1981. Through the founders’ persistent efforts, the Main Gracious Hall was completed in September, 1983. The temple then officially opened its doors to the public. Two years later, the Thousand Buddha Hall and the Ksitigarbha Hall (or Ancestral Hall) were also completed.

In 1986, the temple was officially inaugurated in a ceremony attended by thousands, including Richmond’s Mayor and Member of Parliament. Throughout the years, the International Buddhist Temple has received tremendous support from the general public, and is recognized for bringing the Buddhist philosophy and Chinese cultural heritage to Canada and the West. This is particularly noteworthy as Canada takes great pride in its cultural and religious diversity.

The mission of the International Buddhist Society is to propagate Buddhism through its practice, and to educate all sentient beings on how to attain Enlightenment and purification of the mind. In general, Buddhism upholds the virtues of benevolence, perseverance, self-discipline, and charity. By living and studying Buddhism, we learn to be virtuous citizens while striving to free ourselves from the sufferings of reincarnation.

The Society follows the Buddha’s teachings of philanthropy and selfless compassion by doing charitable work both locally and abroad. We also wish to enlighten all visitors to the temple, and enrich their lives with the philosophies of Buddhism through Chinese architecture, horticulture, painting, calligraphy, sculpture, and traditional ceremonies and rituals. Our temple provides a gathering place for people to experience Chinese heritage and Buddhist philosophy together, whether they come from Canada or across the world. The International Buddhist Temple is open to everyone, regardless of ethnicity, religion, nationality, age, or (dis)abilities.

Our temple is not only constructed according to the traditional Chinese imperial style, but every structural detail and every object of art it showcases are also authentic expressions of impeccable Chinese craftsmanship. The magnificence of the temple, in the serene environment it creates and the esteemed work that is done both within and beyond its walls, has earned the International Buddhist Society many awards and praise over the years. Nothing is as rewarding, however, as seeing our efforts slowly but surely improving the lives of those who have been inspired by the Dharma.

Address: 9160 Steveston Highway (between No. 3 and No. 4 Roads) Richmond, B.C., Canada V7A 1M5
Tel: (604) 274-2822
Fax: (604) 271-2338
Email: temple@buddhisttemple.ca
URL: www.buddhisttemple.ca
Website Support: support@buddhisttemple.ca

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