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Missed Lunch, Found Peace: Hsi Lai Temple in Hacienda Heights

by Vishnu

"Who let Vishnu in? Where's security?"

Who let Vishnu in? And where in Buddha's name is security?

I’m going to be honest. I have been salivating to visit the largest Buddhist temple close to my home in Southern California.

Hungering for enlightenment, wisdom and peace.

Delicious Chinese vegetarian food, prepared by monks (who else would prepare them, right?). At bargain prices, according to Yelp!

In an attempt to impress family who visited recently (some of my most favorite people) and grab a delicious lunch in the process, we headed over to the Buddhist Hsi Lai Temple. And no, of course I didn’t tell them about my secret lunch plans. It was going to be a culinary surprise for me. For them, of course.

Here are the facts you need to know about the Buddhist sanctuary in case you show up 2 hours too early for the tour: Temple sits on a 15-acre parcel of land. 20 miles east of Los Angeles. Situated here for about 25 years.

Founded by the Venerable Master Hsing Yun, of Taiwanese descent. Represent!

Established this Buddhist order in 1967. 200 branches worldwide. Ordained more than 1,500 monks and nuns to serve the order. (Don’t fear, I’m not one of them.)

This temple serves as a cultural and spiritual hub of Buddhism for Taiwanese and Chinese Americans in the area. We took an early morning stroll around the temple grounds and soaked up the peaceful energy of this Buddhist sanctuary, some call the largest Buddhist temple in America.

We toured the grounds, snapped many photos and I decided to secretly take on the role of Indiana Jones – on a mission to find the vegetarian lunch!

Bottom line: lunch is only served at 11:30. Life Lesson: Don’t go to a temple without finding out what time food is served!

All we left with was some *&#^@())@@!# peace of mind.

And these photos below. If you’re in the Southern California area, drop by and visit this serene and heartening shrine dedicated to Buddha.

p.s. If you’re picky and have high demands for good quality photos, better check out Annie Hall’s blog, featuring Hsi Lai temple photos.


Get your peace on.





Throw your hands up.


Real women meditate.


Do you visit temples for the food or the spiritual knowledge and wisdom? No…I’m being serious.

Any recommendations of Buddhist temples to visit where you live?  Commenting below will guarantee spiritual realization for you and a person of your choice. Peace 🙂