This data was last updated on 10 July 2018.
Address: 155 Quincy Avenue, Braintree, MA 02184
History: Venerable Thich Thien Hue was ordained in Vietnam in 1965. After immigrating to the United States in 1989, he founded his first Vietnamese Buddhist center in Boise, Idaho. Moving to Massachusetts, he opened a second temple in Worcester. Samantabhadra/Pho Hien is the third center Venerable Hue founded in 2001. The center, located in a former nursing home, was renovated by volunteers from the lay community.
Description: Samatabhadra/Pho Hien Buddhist Center is located on Quincy Avenue in Braintree, a heavily trafficked residential street. The large brick building is set back from the street by a lawn and parking lot. In front of the main entrance stands a white stone statue of Kuan Yin fringed with potted plants and shrubbery. Upon entering the building, visitors are greeted by a thousand armed Avalokitesvara (the Bodhisattva of Compassion) figure. The surrounding walls are lined with photos from various Vietnamese Buddhist celebrations held at the center. Beyond this area lies a dinning room used for Sunday dharma talks. The main circular meditation hall features a large central altar. Visitors can circumambulate the altar where four identical Buddhas are seated around the central pillar. An outer circle of ceramic Bodhisattvas surrounds the inner altar. Colorful flashing lights, Buddhist and Hindu posters, palm leaves, and offerings of fruit and flowers decorate the multi-tiered arrangement. The linoleum floor is lined with rows of small cushions and individual bookstands for worshipers to rest their texts on during recitations. Sixteen of the sixty dormitory rooms available for retreat face out onto the hall.
Demographics: Samantabhadra/Pho Hien Buddhist Center draws most of its members from the Vietnamese community including recent immigrants and second and third generation Vietnamese-Americans. The center welcomes all ethnicities, Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike.
Activities and Schedule: The temple is open daily for meditation. Full services are held on Sundays and include chanting, a dharma talk, and children’s activities. Services are conducted in both English and Vietnamese. Each spring, Samantabhadra/Pho Hien Buddhist Center celebrates the Buddha's birthday. This large intra-faith festival features cultural performances from Vietnam, Japan, Korea, China, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh. In recent years, the 3,000 attendees have taken part in the chanting, mediation, and ritual bathing of the Buddha. Over four years, Venerable Hue received annual recognition from Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney for his efforts in organizing this event. This honor was bestowed upon him again in the spring of 2007 by Governor Deval Patrick.
Partnerships: Venerable Hue is involved in numerous interfaith community events in Braintree, the Greater Boston area, and throughout the country. He regularly speaks at religious institutions around New England in an effort to develop ties with other Buddhist and faith-based groups. Additionally, the Samantabhadra/Pho Hien Buddhist Center annually welcomes students from St. Paul’s School in New Hampshire as an opportunity to teach them about Buddhism.