5 Religious Marvels in America
Hsi Lai Temple in Hacienda Heights, California
Fo Guang Shan Hsi Lai Temple is a traditional Chinese Buddhist mountain monastery located in California. The meaning of “Hsi Lai" is Coming West, which indicates the "Great Buddhadharma Coming West." The ten-year planning and construction of the shrine was completed in 1988.
The building is in the shape of a bodhi leaf, which represents the tree under which Buddha achieved enlightenment. The art gallery inside the shrine, which includes Eastern and Western paintings, ceramics, photographs and Buddhist artifacts, adds to the beauty of the place.
"People come here and say, 'I don't know I'm in Southern California. It seems I am in another part of the world,'" said the temple's director of outreach, Miao Hsi.
The motivation behind building the temple was to serve as a spiritual and cultural center for people who are interested in learning more about Buddhism and the Chinese culture. Taking care of Buddhist missionaries through education, spreading Buddhism through cultural activities and benefiting society through charitable programs are the main objectives of the temple.