Information about this center is no longer updated. This data was last updated on 1 June 2004.Phone: 913-642-3068
Heart-Shrine Relic Tour, 2003An exciting event for Fo Guan Shan Affiliated Temples was the arrival of the Heart-Shrine Relic Tour in the spring of 2003, a first for Fo Guan Shan. This shrine contains relics of the Buddha and has ben displayed at Buddhist temples around the world. The relics are the sacred remains of masters who have attained extraordinary spiritual realizations during their lifetime, so that small crystalline, pearl-like deposits called ringsel appear within the ashes when a master's body is cremated. This tour was started by the Maitreya Project to promote the construction of the Maitreya Buddha statue in northern India. Upon its completion, these relics will be permanently enshrined inside it. For more information concerning the Maitreya Project go to www.maitreyaproject.org, or to find out more about the Heart-Shrine Relic Tour go to www.maitreyaproject.org/relictour.
BackgroundThe center, founded around 1994, exists for the practice of Fo Guan Shan or Humanistic Buddhism. The center's parent website speaks of a “philosophy of life that encourages people to integrate the Buddha's teachings of kindness, compassion, joyfulness, and equanimity into their daily lives for the benefit of themselves as well as others.” The leader of this temple is Venerable Ananda, a short Chinese woman with a shaved head. She conducts the rituals in an orange robe. The rituals usually involve twenty to thirty people or on a special occasion 100 to 150 people at various times during the day. Many of the people who go to Fo Guan Shan are Asian American, along with some whites and members of other minority groups. The gatherings are on Sunday mornings and begin with the chanting of prayers, in Chinese, to Buddha.
HistoryFor Humanistic Buddhists, there was no place for collective worship in the Kansas City area until Fo Guan Shan was established. People had worshiped previously in their own homes, but as the community's size increased, the need grew for a central place of worship. Support came from the main Humanistic Buddhist temple in America, the Hsi Lai Temple in Hacienda Heights, California. The Hsi Lai Temple responded to the inquiry of the Kansas City Buddhists, and finally they got their own center in Shawnee Mission.
Description of CenterThe center is a house that has been partially converted into a temple. Three rooms in the front of the house and the basement are for temple use. There are two shrines, where most of the chanting and praying occur, and a library. One shrine honors the dead, and the other honors the living and the Buddha. The rest of the house is the residence of Venerable Ananda.