Community Love

I feel like I need to post something today, but I am tired. It’s freaking before dawn, and I’m at a forest temple on a hill in the middle of nowhere. And this post was actually written on Friday night. In spite of the cramps, the sore back, the bug bites and lack of sleep I’m sure to be having—I am part of a supportive, diverse and engaged Buddhist community. Not only are they wonderful people, they sure as heck know how to cook. I am so very grateful. Now I’m going to go sit and try not to fall asleep, or at least not snore.

Birth of an Arizona Temple

The story of a Vietnamese temple in Chandler, Arizona is a simple illustration how many temples get started in the United States.

There’s not much to distinguish the temple from the surrounding neighborhood, besides a couple of Buddha statues in the front yard. Services began there in February 2006, when Sister Lien Thuy Ngo moved in to the home with two other nuns after they determined a need for a Buddhist temple in Chandler, Chuan said. The nuns previously resided at a sister temple in Tucson, he said.

Fortunately the neighborhood appears to be welcoming.

Virginia Temple Foreclosure

I don’t know much about the Vietnamese temple in Pungo, Virginia, but it contains several points that affect Asian American Buddhist congregations elsewhere in North America.

A house in Pungo used by Buddhists as a temple is in foreclosure, and the monks are looking for a new spot.

The 4-acre ranch, at 4177 West Neck Road, was the subject of litigation when the monks sued Virginia Beach, arguing that the city violated their religious freedom by denying them a use permit to hold services.

Buddhist temples are frequently opposed by local neighborhoods, even when endorsed by local officials. Some complaints are understandable, such as concerns about parking, while others are laughable, such as worries that prison chaplains might attract “undesirables” to the neighborhood. I’m curious about the financial issue, but the article doesn’t say enough to draw any firm conclusions.