A Close Look at Hua Zang Si

A Close Look at Hua Zang Si

Hua Zang Si is my favorite sacred spiritual worship place in the bay area. In there I find peace, relaxation, and harmony, and a home for my soul. I have gone there many times, to chant the sutra, join the meditation sessions, and participate in Dharma assemblies.

Hua Zang Si, an impressive-looking temple located in the center of the Mission District in San Francisco. The building was formerly the St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, built in 1903, and has been repurposed as a Chinese temple. To me it is really a friendly symbol that different religions can coexist in harmony.

The large outside facade of the temple is painted red color, made the building a very outstanding and eye-catching landmark in the neighborhood. Red is a good color in Chinese culture that symbolizes auspiciousness and warding off evil spirits。

Once entering the temple, I feel like I am in another world. The marvelous statue at the entrance of the temple is an oversize representation of a jolly, laughing Buddha: Maitreya Bodhisattva (the next Buddha in this Saha world). It is such a warm welcoming sign. The big belly not only means jolly, it also means tolerating those intolerable things in the world. So when you look at the statue, you will start to feel that learning Buddhism is happy and kind.

The right line of the couplet is “da du neng rong tian xia shi he lai bu rong zhi rong.” As self-cultivators, we should be like the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. We should have a broad mind, open heart, and great tolerance.
The left line of the couplet is “ren ru ke na fa jie jing qi shi you na zhong na.” The first priority for one who learns Buddhism and cultivates himself is to be patient and forbearing under insult. The thought of patience or tolerance does not arise from his mind. Everything in all of the dharma realms can change from ordinary to holy. 

Walking inside, the first floor is Shakyamuni Buddha Hall. The golden statue of Shakyamuni Buddha is a very dignified-looking Buddhist statue. On the left side is the one thousand-armed and one thousand-eyed Guanyin Bodhisattva, an awe-inspiring statue. On the right side is Skanda Bodhisattva, a standing majestic full-body armored statue. With a sword in hand, Skanda Bodhisattva is a Buddha Dharma protector, and it is believed he can subjugate demons and evil spirits.

Shakyamuni Buddha
One thousand-armed and one thousand-eyed Guanyin Bodhisattva
Skanda Bodhisattva

The second floor is Amitabha Buddha Hall. The twenty-one-foot-high statue of Amitabha Buddha (designed by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III) has been generally recognized as the most majestic Buddhist statue in the world. It is an extremely solemn sight. The color painted on the face is so lifelike, one feels like seeing the real Amitabha Buddha from western paradise. The Buddha’s eyes seem alive as well, looking down at all beings full of compassion and love. Every time when I look at the Buddha, I feel so moved and touched, tears fill my eyes. I can’t help but to kneel down and pray wholeheartedly: Please Buddha save me from the birth-death cycle, please take me to the western pure land. I feel my whole body melted into the compassionate gaze of the Buddha.

In the center of Amitabha Buddha hall, there is a large circular mandala on which a Yun sculpture (carved by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III) depicting Mt. Sumeru is placed. In that Yun sculpture are shariras (sacred relics) of the Shakyamuni Buddha for worshipping.

Directly facing the Amitabha Buddha is a tall Dharma altar, there is a huge blue Dorje Chang Buddha image. Dorje Chang Buddha is also called Buddha Vajradhara or Ruler of the Vajra Beings. In the entire universe, Dorje Chang Buddha is the first Buddha with form and is the highest Buddha. That is, the highest leader of Buddhism in the entire universe came into being in the form of Dorje Chang Buddha. It was Dorje Chang Buddha who began transmitting dharma and saving living beings in the dharmadhatu. As a result, Buddhism was born and the Buddha-dharma began spreading.

In front of the image of Dorje Chang Buddha are photos of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III.  Dorje Chang Buddha has come to this world twice. The first time was in the form of the holy and venerable Vimalakirti, who was Dorje Chang Buddha II. The second time was in the form of H.H. Wan Ko Yeshe Norbu, who is Dorje Chang Buddha III.

 Dorje Chang Buddha III

These photos were true records of the holy miracle Buddha Dharma. On October 18, 2012, H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III within ten minutes, reversed his appearance back to a youthful look. This incredible Buddha Dharma ever practiced successfully by Guru Rinpoche long time ago in Tibet.

A large Tibet thangkas hang on the north wall of the hall, it is about BRIEF BUDDHIST LINEAGE REFUGE TREE.

Hua Zang Si has many Holy Treasures , make sure you check them out at the corner of this hall as well.

The third floor contains a library of Buddhist scriptures.

The backyard — a city oasis in the shadow of surrounding Victorians — is home to a magnolia tree, which the faithful say rained nectar for three days, along with a miraculous lotus tub used in the bathing of the Buddha and heavenly beings.

Further back, there is Dharma protector pavilion, a statue of the Dharma Protecting Deity Guan Yu was installed inside.

Guan Yu took refuge in Master Zhiyi at Yuquan Hill. He then manifested great supernatural power and constructed the Yuquan Temple overnight on a barren lot, where he resolved to become a protector of Buddhism. That is why, upon the plea of many Buddhist practitioners, he was recommended to be the Dharma Protecting Deity of Hua Zang Si.

Hua Zang Si is different from other temples that propagate only one sect within Buddhism. It teaches all of the various sects within Buddhism. If you want to know and learn Buddhism, Hua Zang Si is the best place to start with.

Hua Zang Si has many Holy Treasures and Holy Manifestations, make it a very special and inspiring place worth visiting. Here is the website for details: http://huazangsi.org/en/home.php

Temple address is 3134 22nd St., phone: 415-920-9816.

A Close Look at Hua Zang Si

Link:https://peacelilysite.com/2022/04/27/a-close-look-at-hua-zang-si/

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Na Mo Guan Shi Yin Bodhisattva

Na Mo Guan Shi Yin Bodhisattva

A Chinese Painting of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva

GuanShiYin (Avalokitasvara) Bodhisattva is a well-known Buddhism figure in China and southeastern Asian. Actually the influence of Buddhism has reached to western countries as well. In my yoga class at San Francisco, the teacher often play music that chanting the name of Guan Shi Yin Bodhisattva in English version.

Guan Shi Yin Bodhisattva is a Bodhisattva at the level of marvelous enlightenment, which means possessing the marvelous enlightenment of a Buddha. That is, the Bodhisattva is one of the great holiness and virtue who is no difference from a Buddha. As recorded in sutras, Guan Shi Yin Bodhisattva is the incarnation of an ancient Buddha called True Dharma Brightness Tthagata and is the king of great compassion. The Bodhisattva is incessantly busy day and night helping all humans and other living beings in Three Spheres and has accumulated boundlessly vast merit.

There are many different kinds of status and portraits of Guan Shi Yin Bodhisattva in the world. In China, Guan Shi Yin Bodhisattva is generally portrayed as a young woman wearing a flowing white robe, and usually also necklaces symbolic of Chinese royalty. In her left hand is a jar containing pure water, and the right holds a willow branch. The crown usually depicts the image of Amitabha Buddha.

At International Art Museum of America, there is a chinese painting of Na Mo Guan Shi Yin Bodhisattva, the artist is H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III. It gave me a really deep impression – Amazingly beautiful portrait. It is a fine brush stroke traditional Chinese painting. The painter used very fine and complicated strokes, all the details were vivid and perfectly presented. I can clear see the hair, the crown, all the small part of the jewelry, even the delicate pattern of the flowing strings. Through those details I can feel the painter’s expression of Guan Shi Yin Bodhisattva’s meticulous compassion and love for all living beings. The whole portrait looks lifelike with infinite grace. The artist’s superb artistic skills is beyond perfection.

The great art work not only gives people artistic enjoyment, but also an experience of spiritual encounter. I stood in front of the painting for a long time, and I felt like forgetting about all worldly affairs and emerging into the Bodhisattva’s boundless compassion for ever and ever…

Na Mo Guan Shi Yin Bodhisattva

Link: https://peacelilysite.com/2022/03/11/na-mo-guan-shi-yin-bodhisattva/

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Guan Shi Yin Bodhisattva saved my life

Guan Shi Yin Bodhisattva saved my life

After graduate school, I moved to Wilmington, Delaware. I lived in a very nice neighborhood, with many towering trees, a beautiful pond and grassy land. Wild animals often jumped in your view: squirrels, raccoons, birds, sometimes even deer. I loved to walk around, especially after rain, with the fresh air and tranquil blue sky making me feel so calm and peaceful. However, I found there were some little inconvenient spots where earth worms would drown in the small rainwater puddle. I knew earth worms couldn’t breath in water, that they would die in the puddle. I always tried to find a twig to pick up the worms gently and then put them in the grass. I didn’t have any other thought when I did this, I just didn’t want to see them die. I did not realize this little good deed would save me later.

One day I went to visit one of my friends, and he showed me a picture he got from a temple. It was a painting of The Three Holy Beings in West Paradise, and I was deeply attracted by image of Amitabha Buddha and Guan Shi Yin Bodhisattva. I felt a great compassion flow from the paper into me. I bowed to the holy beings involuntarily. My friend gave me the picture and a small booklet about buddhism. I framed the picture very elegantly and set up a small sacred altar in my home. Maybe because of my Karmic condition, I started to chant the name of Guan Shi Yin Bodhisattva in front of the holy image whenever I had the time. I also read the small booklet. It told me a brief history of Buddhism, and the law of Karma — cause and effect exists everywhere and every time. What kind of actions you did, will bring you what kind of effects. Seems to me like what goes around will comes around. At that time, I didn’t disagree with it but also didn’t truly believe in it.

Photo by Cinimod Photo on Pexels.com

One year later, I had my first baby. After the delivery I was very weak, because of the excessive blooding. Taking care of a newborn was a lot of work, and sometimes I didn’t even have strength to cook a meal for myself. My husband was traveling a lot, and when he was not at home, I felt very scary at night for no reason. One night I was so exhausted. When I fell asleep I saw a very fierce man whose whole body was black except for two big white eyes, and he held an iron ring and tried to attack me. I was so frightened, I wanted to run, but I couldn’t move. At that very moment I saw Guan Shi Yin Bodhisattva like the purest white angel stand on my head, and then that evil black demon disappeared immediately. While I was still half awake and half dreaming, I felt the floor lamp in my room lighten up, and on the ground I saw many earth worms. Suddenly I heard a voice telling me that because I saved those earth worms before, so I have been saved this time.

I completely woke up, and came to the altar. I deeply homaged to the greatly loving and compassionate Guan Shi Yin Bodhisattva! I was so grateful for being saved by the holy Bodhisattva! I prayed to the Bodhisattva sincerely, to please protect me and my baby.

My prayer did get answered, for very soon my mother got a visa after being rejected twice. She could now come to the US to help me go through the most difficult time in my life.

Now I truly believe in the Buddhism teaching. I practice cultivation diligently every day. And I hope I can attain liberation in my life and have the opportunity to help people be free from suffering, frightening, and sorrow.

I deeply wish all living beings have a happy and prosperous life with good health and an abundance of good fortune!

Amitabha Buddha!
With a sincere and humble heart,

Buddhist Disciple Peace Lily

Link: https://peacelilysite.com/2021/11/18/guan-shi-yin-bodhisattva-saved-my-life/

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