This profile was last updated in 2003
History and Leadership.
The first Linh-Son Buddhist TempleBuddhist temples differ considerably from one another depending upon culture and particular school, but most are associated with the residence of the sangha of monks. Theravada temples focus on one or more images of Sakyamuni Buddha. In Mahayana and Vajra... in the Austin area was established in the neighboring town of Leander in 1984. As the Austin Vietnamese community grew, a second templeA temple is a house of worship, a sacred space housing the deity or central symbol of the tradition. The Temple in Jerusalem was the holy place of the Jewish people until its destruction by the Romans in 70 CE; now the term “temple” is used by th. Ref... was added in 1998. The new temple, although smaller, is more conveniently located and provides the local community with a resident monkA monk is a man who renounces worldly life and is ordinarily a member of a monastic order or community, thereby undertaking a special commitment to study, service, asceticism, prayer, or disciplined spiritual practice. In the Buddhist tradition, fully ord.... Today, the Vietnamese Buddhist community of Austin utilizes both templesA temple is a house of worship, a sacred space housing the deity or central symbol of the tradition. The Temple in Jerusalem was the holy place of the Jewish people until its destruction by the Romans in 70 CE; now the term “temple” is used by th. Ref.... The Leander temple has more spacious facillities and is suitable for holidays and celebrations. The Austin temple is smaller but offers a convenient weekly meeting place. The temple also provides a meeting place for the Linh-Son Buddhist Youth Association which works to maintain Vietnamese culture in America.
Venerable Thich Tri-Hue, the head monk, often travels back and forth between the two Austin-area temples and Houston as needed to conduct ceremonies or to be present at holidays.
Thich Hue-Minh (Vice-AbbotAn abbot or abbess is the title of the superior of a monastery or convent. Some scholars and practitioners have used these titles to apply to the ranking monk or nun of a Buddhist monastic community as well.) has lived at the Austin temple for about three years. He came to the US on a dangerous ocean voyage from Vietnam. He arrived safely in America and was later ordainedOrdination means consecration to a priestly or monastic life. The term is used in the Buddhist tradition for the rites of becoming a monk (bhikkhu) or nun (bhikkhuni); in the Jewish tradition for the rites of becoming a rabbi; and in the Christian traditi... in Houston. When asked what he thinks of living in Austin he replied, “I would be happy anywhere where I was able to practice BuddhismBuddhism is a multi-hued tradition of life, thought, and practice that has developed from the teaching and practice of Siddhartha Gautama (6th century BCE) who came to be called the Buddha, the awakened one. The three major streams of the tradition—Ther... and to help people.”
Activities and Schedule
Members of the community are free to speak with or visit the temple’s resident monk at any time. Thich Hue Minh agreed that his role is often similar to that of a counselor. In return, the community is responsible for supporting the resident monk. A meditationMeditation is the disciplined practice of quieting and focusing the mind or cultivating the heart’s attention. Different meditation practices commend focusing attention on a word, a prayer, a form, or the breath as a way of practice. Meditation is commo... course typically meets on the third Sunday of the month. There is also a Buddhist studies course facilitated by Thich Tri-Hue and Thich Hue-Minh (Vice-Abbot).
The Linh-Son Buddhist Youth Association meets every Sunday. Typically, there is a chanting service from 10:00 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. followed by classes in Vietnamese language, Buddhism, and culture until 11:55 a.m. There are six levels of study in the Linh-Son Buddhist Youth Association. Graduates often go on to teach.
The community is predominantly Vietnamese, however, the temple is often visited by Chinese, Thais, Cambodians, Sri Lankans, Indians, and Westerners. Chanting services are conducted in Vietnamese. There are 3000-5000 Vietnamese Buddhists in Austin. There are about 30-40 students in the Vietnamese language and culture classes each week.
The Austin Linh-Son Temple was originally a private residence. Today, the property features a prayerPrayer is the vocal or silent address to the Divine. It may consist of fixed words, spontaneous words, or rest in silence with no words at all. Some forms of prayer are accompanied with specific postures or gestures, while others are not. hall as well as living quarters for a resident monk and a small garden. A small multi-purpose room can be used as a meeting space, a classroom, or a dining area.
All funds to purchase and convert the property were raised by the Austin Vietnamese community. Construction will soon begin for a large school behind the temple to facilitate larger classes in Vietnamese language and culture as well as Buddhist studies.
Major holidays at the Linh-Son temple include Trung Thu, a mid-autumn moon festival, Vu-LanThe annual honoring of ancestors is celebrated by the various Buddhist ethnic communities at different times of the year, and is known by different names including Ullambana, Yu-lan-p’en, Obon, Vu-lan, the Obon Festival, Vietnamese Mothers’ Day and An..., a day honoring mothers that is similar to Mother’s day in America, Tet, the Vietnamese New Year (a.k.a. Lunar New Year), and the Buddha’s Birthday. Larger celebrations usually are held at the Leander temple which has more space to accommodate more people.
The Linh-Son Buddhist Youth Association is very active and enjoys events such as cookouts and camping trips. The activities of this group are organized very much like Boy/Girl Scouts.
The Linh-Son Buddhist TemplesBuddhist temples differ considerably from one another depending upon culture and particular school, but most are associated with the residence of the sangha of monks. Theravada temples focus on one or more images of Sakyamuni Buddha. In Mahayana and Vajra... at Austin and Leander are affiliated with the International Linh-Son Buddhist Association headquartered in Joinville-le-pont (near Paris), France. In Texas, there are four Linh-Son Buddhist Temples.