Founded in 1979, Texas Buddhist Association is a non-profit religious organisation that aims at promoting the right values of Dharma through its religious ceremonies and educational endeavours. The association fosters values like brotherhood, unity, kindness, compassion, serenity, joyfulness and service to mankind. It is an umbrella organisation that started with its first centre, Buddha’s Light Temple in 1984.
A part of Texas Buddhist Association, the Jade Buddha Temple was was inaugurated in 1989. One of the most frequented Buddhist temples in Texas, the Jade Buddha Temple is known for its Buddhist ceremonies like the chanting sessions, repentance assembly and meditation retreats.
Situated in southwest Houston, Teo Chew Temple is a Vietnamese Buddhist Temple with fancy rooftops and huge chambers. Teo Chew Temple has an elaborate fountain that has 12 zodiac animals carved on the marble base. Legend has it that if you toss a coin in the fountain, your wish is likely to come true. Above the fountain is the statue of Quan Am, the Chinese Goddess who is considered to be an equivalent to Queen Mary.
Teen Hao Taoist Temple is popular for its prayers carried out by Buddhist monks in the reverence of the Gods, Goddesses and ancestors to seek blessings. This ceremony is called Wan Sun and is also done to give food to approximately 12000 attendees. This temple must be visited by those who are fond of Chinese inspired architecture and are on a lookout for a tranquil environment.
Located in the heart of Houston, Guandi Temple celebrates its chivalrous past and harmony between religions of different beliefs - Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism. Dedicated to the Chinese General Guan Yu (who was later declared God of war and protection in China), this Buddhist temple is surely going to leave you awestruck with idols of their heroes, Goddesses and temple dogs.
Houston Buddhist Vihara is the largest Sri Lankan Buddhist temple in the area. Founded in 1988 by two Buddhist monks, the Vihara aims to facilitate Theravada Buddhist education and spreading values to its members. The temple complex includes the main shrine hall and Dana Sala (dining hall), a Stupa with an open space to pray and a Bodi tree to add to the glory of the premises. Nestled in quiet surroundings, the temple holds meditation classes, Abhidhamma studies, Dhamma dialogues, Sila programs for adults, music and dance classes for children.
Above mentioned are the most popular Buddhist temples in Houston and are highly recommended. However, ensure to be well clothed (no sleeveless and short pants), switch off the phones, be respectful while clicking pictures, do not step on the wooden threshold, remove sunglasses, hats and shoes. Also, remember to stay away from statues and stand at a lower position to offer obeisance.
This post was published by Shreya Peshawaria