Origins of Pao Fa Buddhist Temple

The American Lotus Buddhist Association (A.L.B.A.), Pao Fa Buddhist Temple is located in Irvine, California. This temple shares the same Dharma roots as the Pao Chieh Chan Temple in Wugu, Taipei, and the Pao Xiang Monastery in Puli, Nanto, Taiwan. All these temples are built to disseminate the Honored Buddha's teachings according to the Pure-Land and Chan (Zen, or Meditation) sect, by providing a place for devotees to practice and attain the Buddha truth.


In order to realize the Honored Buddha's merciful vows of teaching and saving all sentient beings, Venerable Master Jen-Yi has, in the past thirty plus years, worked diligently to disseminate the Buddha's teachings and to guide devotees in proper cultivation. In 1990 he accepted the advice from the Venerable Master of Hsuan Hua to found the A.L.B.A. in Irvine, California, a religious and educational center for understanding Buddhism and Buddhist practices. In order to allow the Honored Buddha's teachings known to more people, and to plant the seeds of Bodhi (true wisdom) in the land of America, and to provide a quiet place for local and visiting devotees, Venerable Master Jen-Yi initiated his grand plan of building Pao Fa Buddhist Temple in 1993.


Below are some highlights of the project:

    Fall of 1995: purchase of 3.2 acre lot and the building used by Pacific Bell, from Irvine Company in Irvine, California (People in Irvine highly value a multi-cultural environment, and have always wished to have a Buddhist temple built in Irvine.)

    November 1996: public hearing approval

    May 15, 1998: ground breaking

    April 1999: start of construction

    June 2002: completion of construction

The main part of the building can accommodate up to 800 people. It consists of the Precious Great Heroes Hall, classrooms, library, dining room and conference rooms. The floor area covers over 41,000 square feet. The unusual construction materials were mainly imported; however, the steel frames, tiling, kitchen appliances, and fire prevention equipment were all procured locally. The funds for purchasing the property and building the temple were mainly raised from devotees in Taiwan.


A special structure and design has been adopted in the temple construction. The whole process of building has been a difficult project. Venerable Master Jen-Yi has devoted great effort to the initial planning, design and floor layout, contracting to builders, and on-site supervision. He personally supervised every single part of the project till its completion. In addition, Master Jen-Lien, the Abbot of Pao Chieh Chan Temple in Taiwan, has also offered vital support to him in this project. We have on many occasions observed their perseverance, which serves as an excellent example for all followers.


Pao Fa Buddhist Temple will be utilized as a place for the study of Buddha's discourses, Buddha's name recitation, worshiping of the Buddha, penitential offerings, meditation, and assemblies for worship or preaching. One of Pao Fa Temple's main objectives is to provide a quiet place for local or visiting devotees to practice the Revered Buddha's teachings, and to aid them in their spiritual quest for purification and peace in their lives. The ultimate goal is to assist all devotees to reach nirvana (liberation).


We would like to express our sincere appreciation to the blessings of Triple Gem, and to the devotion rendered by all who made this event possible.



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Pao Fa Temple