Venerable Master Hsing Yun established the Fo Guang Shan (Buddha’s Light Mountain) International Buddhist Order in 1967. The order’s international headquarters is the largest monastery in Taiwan, encompassing over 370 acres. The Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Order is a Mahayana Chinese Buddhist monastic order. The Mahayana tradition in China can be categorized into eight different schools: Tiantai, Pure Land, Chan, Huayen (Avatamsaka), Faxiang (Yogacara), Sanlun (Madhyamikan), Vinaya and Esoteric (Tantra). Fo Guang Shan belongs to the Linji Chan School. For over fifty years, the Venerable Master has been instrumental in expanding religious freedom throughout Asia.
The Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Order, through a Humanistic Buddhist orientation, works to unite all Buddhist schools and sects. It also strives to foster and promote inter-religious dialogue among all spiritual traditions through symposia, conferences, and services. Fo Guang Shan has more than two hundred temples worldwide with more than 1,500 monastic’s serving in the Order.
Fo Guang Shan St. Louis Buddhist Center
Fo Guang Shan Saint Louis Buddhist Center is one of over 200 branch temples of the Fo Guang Shan International Buddhist Order founded by Venerable Master Hsing Yun. The order’s objectives are to promote Humanistic Buddhism which embraces all traditions and schools, and to bring forth faith, joy, hope, and service for all. We hope to establish a Pure Land on earth and integrate the Buddha’s teachings of kindness, compassion, joyfulness, and equanimity into our daily lives.
Consistent with the Order’s objectives, the Center was established in 1999 to serve as a spiritual and cultural center for anyone interested in learning about the diverse cultures of Buddhism and Chinese traditions. Activities and services have been conducted to uphold the four main principles of the Order:
- To propagate the doctrine of the Buddha through cultural activities
- To nurture talents through education
- To benefit society through charitable programs
- To purify people’s minds through Dharma practice
The working motto of its members is to give others confidence, hope, joy, and convenience.
Since the Center’s inception in 1999, it had relocated several times within the St. Louis region. In 2006, the center has found a permanent location in Bridgeton, encompassing 4.39 acres of land and a floor area of 7,367 square feet. Facilities include: Main Shrine for religious services, Memorial Hall to pay respects to the departed, Dining Hall for convenient vegetarian meals, Library that holds a wide range of Buddhist books and resources, Children's Room providing a positive environment for our youngest members, and numerous versatile rooms for classes, workshops, and meetings held at the Center.
Most of the religious services are conducted in the Main Shrine, which literally means “Precious Hall of the Great Hero,” and is the most important place in a Buddhist temple. It is dedicated to the founder of Buddhism, Sakyamuni Buddha, who had the heroic qualities of unsurpassed wisdom, virtue, compassion, and the power to subdue evil, thus, saving all sentient beings from ignorance and afflictions. Devotees come here to honor the Buddha and to seek their spiritual home. Inside the Main Shrine there is a monumental statue of Sakymauni Buddha.
In the center of the Memorial Hall is Amitabha Buddha, the teacher of the Western Pure Land. Amitabha means infinite light and infinite life. In his practice as a bodhisattva, he made forty-eight great vows in establishing the Western Pure Land to receive sentient beings who sincerely and mindfully recite his name at the time of their passing.
SERVICES & PROGRAMS
The Center offers a number of programs for those who are interested in Chinese culture and in learning Buddhism. Classes, workshops, and services include:
English & Chinese Dharma Classes
English & Chinese Meditation Classes
Special Dharma Lecture and Buddhism Workshop
Sunday Dharma Services
Light-Offering Chanting Service
Amitabha Chanting Service
Chinese New Year Celebration
Buddhas’ and Bodhisattvas’ Birthday Celebrations
Please note the following:
- Open Hours : Tuesday – Sunday 9:00am to 5:00pm
- Photos and video recordings are not permitted during services and activities. No commercial photography is allowed.
- Shorts, miniskirts, and tank tops are not appropriate at the Center.
- The entire Center is a non-smoking area, and no meat or alcohol is allowed in the premises.