Information about this center is no longer updated. This data was last updated on 20 May 2004.Phone: 504-227-0781
HistoryNguyen Tam started the temple in 2003. He was born in Vietnam and lived and studied Buddhism in Taiwan before coming to the U.S. After spending a year in Houston, Nguyen Tam came to New Orleans and purchased about two acres of land in Gretna to start the temple. Nguyen Tam's master also lives in New Orleans and originally the two occupied a small trailer on the site during the construction of the temple. Two nuns live across the Mississippi in Metairie. Nguyen Tam's master is 75 years old and has spent 10 years in various parts of the U.S. He hopes all monks and nuns will eventually be able to reside in quarters on the temple property.
Activities and ScheduleRitual services are held on Mondays, Wednesdays and Sundays. On Saturday evenings from 7 - 9 p.m. Nguyen Tam gives dharma discourses for the congregation in Vietnamese. Special services are held during various festival periods throughout the year.
DescriptionThe temple was constructed in 2003. There is space for parking in the front of the temple and on each side. Construction on the living quarters for monks has just begun; in the meantime Nguyen Tam resides in a small trailer set up behind the temple. Separate restroom facilities for men and women stand apart from the temple in the back corner of the lot. At one side of the temple tables are set up to provide the community with space to share a meal. The open-air area is protected from rain by synthetic tarps. The interior contains a main altar which displays a large golden image of the Buddha. In front of the image is a standing Bodhisattva. To the left as one enters the temple is a drum which lay people use to invite the monks into the temple on special occasions. To the right is a large bell (see photo) which is struck by the monks in rituals. Normally the lay people do not strike the bell, but on occasions commemorating a deceased ancestor a relative will be given the responsibility to sound the bell. Two guardian bodhisattva stand facing each other on opposite sides of the temple. A large chart along the back wall displays the names of members and has space to record contributions. A image of Kuan Yin standing next to the altar meets the eye as one enters the off-center main door of the temple. In the far corner beyond a polished wooden desk is a display of some deceased ancestors of members of the temple's congregation. Ritual food offerings are made to these departed souls regularly.