We invite you to explore our website and visit our monastery to learn about the teachings of the Buddha so that you may find peace in your life. Here at MABA, we offer retreats, study groups, spiritual counseling, weekly Sunday services and other special events.
All buildings around the monastery (except the original Female Residential Hall, a century-old house) were designed by architect, Lei-Hoo Mak, on a pro bono basis, and built by the monastics as well as some volunteers.
The meditation hall is a sacred place where the weekly Sunday service is held. It is a spacious room covered in hardwood flooring and big open windows that provide natural lighting and fresh air. Meditation mats and cushions are provided for all visitors. It is customary to remove shoes before entering the meditation hall, bow to the Buddha statue upon entering and be extra mindful and courteous of those concentrating in meditation.
Guanyin Pavilion is a secluded meditation area nestled by trees and flowers overlooking the tranquil lake at MABA. The namesake of the pavilion is after Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva (Guanyin Pusa), one of the two principal Bodhisattvas that assisted the Buddha in delivering the teachings to the populace. “Guanyin” denotes the action by this very Bodhisattva of “observing all worldly voices” with the intention of lending a helping hand whenever and wherever she hears a needy whimper. Such noble intention and acts certainly deserve due respect and, hopefully, replication by all practitioners of Buddhism. The building was completed in 2003.
Dizang Hall is the largest Buddhist Memorial Hall in Mid-America, constructed in 2007. There are over 400 niches, each with a gold plaque delicately decorated with a relief of Dizang Pusa. This building’s name pays respect to Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva (Dizang Pusa), best known for his relentless devotion to rescue his mother and all sentient beings from suffering in the infernal, exemplary conducts of filial piety by Chinese standard. In Buddhism, death is not the end of life. By creating this memorial hall, the monastic community is able to provide a place of peace in an auspicious building set on one of the highest rolling hillsides at the monastery.
In the center of the graceful, oval interior surrounded by golden memorial plaques, a 12-foot tall copper statue of Dizang Pusa stands guard over those who have passed on. The Bodhisattva statue is surrounded by the burning flames of his vows to protect those who have died, holding the great Taoist staff, which symbolizes his protectorship of the six realms, and all beings in them. The statue stands in a tall alcove, guarding over the berths and symbolizing our commitment as Buddhists to respecting and caring for those in our families who have passed on. For those who wish to express their traditional family piety, or to feel the comfort knowing that they will reside after death under the mindful eye of a Buddhist Sangha, the Mid-America Buddhist Association provides reservations, burial arrangement assistance, interment and burial services, consecration of the ancestral plaque, eternal maintenance of the facility, daily chanting, annual memorial services and a selection of six different urns for those who wish to have a consecrated urn for their loved one.
The Buffalo Lodge, finished in 2011, serves as a residential hall for male monastics on a daily basis and for male practitioners during retreats, as well as a classroom when the situation calls for it. During the recent years, Buddhist workshops were routinely held in this building. It is fully furnished with four individual bedrooms, one loft, three full-baths, one modern kitchen and a laundry room. Master Ji Ru resides here in a separate single room that faces the front gate. The building was first referred to as “The Monk House” but in 2016 adopted the name “Buffalo Lodge,” as it serves as a sanctuary for one to practice concentrating in meditation despite the mind’s stubborn nature.
The Blue Lotus House
The Blue Lotus House had always been the female residential hall at MABA. The newly expanded version (finished in 2017) is three times larger compared to the original one, complete with a central kitchen capable of serving 40-50 people during retreats. The female monastics reside here on a daily basis and female practitioners use the extra space during retreats.
Sudhana Pavilion is a charming little area at MABA constructed in 2013. The namesake was after the most well-known youthful pilgrim in Mahayana Buddhism, Sudhana, who interviewed 53 Bodhisattvas in many different worlds in search of the eternal truth. This pavilion is for our Buddhist children to come practice in their study groups. Children hold the key to a long-term goal of MABA, for Buddhism to take roots in the United States, thus materialize a better future for all people.