Lien Thuu Thien Tu Buddhist Meditation Temple

This profile was last updated in 2004

History

The Linh Thuu Thien Tu Temple was founded in 1992 when the master of a Buddhist temple in Boston decided to establish a temple in Boise. The temple was a residential home that was renovated.

Challenges and Discrimination

Members of the Linh Thuu Thien Tu Temple generally feel very accepted in the wider Boise community. Although many people don’t know the temple exists, those who do are kind and supportive of the community. The limited English spoken by leaders of the temple can make connections in the broader Boise community difficult.

Demographics

The community has about 120 members, including about 40 children. The vast majority of the group is Vietnamese, and all services are conducted in Vietnamese, although the temple also has members from Cambodia, Thailand, China and the United States. Membership has been increasing gradually, but the community is eager for more growth.

Activities and Schedule

Gatherings at temple happen twice daily. Early morning, the nuns and monks will meet at the temple for an hour to meditate and chant. In the evening, all the members come to meditate and chant, and the leader of the temple, Thich Dong Hanh, teaches daily. There are almost always members in the small building next to the temple, which is treated as a shared house.

Five main holidays are celebrated at Lien Thuu Thien Tu throughout the year: Tet (January New Year), Ram Thang Gieng (January full moon), Dai Le Phat Dan (in May), Dai Le Vu Lan (in August) and Tet Trung Thu (in September). On Sundays, the temple is open to the public, and non-Buddhists are encouraged to visit and learn about Buddhism and the temple, and even learn Vietnamese. Members are also able to take advantage of the services offered on Sundays. They offer computer classes, translation services and homework help for kids. Additionally, they provide Vietnamese dance classes for members’ children.

Description

The property is made up of two small yellow buildings. One building is just a large room, which serves as the temple. It has a beautiful and colorful display at the back of the room with a large statue of Buddha. The Vietnamese community shares the temple with Treasure Valley Dharma Friends, a predominately Euro-American group. The second building is used by the members for any temple activities other than meditation. In front of the buildings there is a garden and a large white Buddha statue.