About Us

Learn the story of the International Buddhist Temple.

The International Buddhist Society began construction of its temple more than twenty five years ago, upon the soaring dreams and meticulous planning of many volunteers and donors. At the heart of the expanding temple and its growing community is the Venerable Guan Cheng, the abbot and one of the founders of what is known as the International Buddhist Temple.

Our temple is not only constructed according to the traditional Chinese imperial style, but every structural detail and every object of art it showcases are also authentic expressions of impeccable Chinese craftsmanship. The magnificence of the temple, in the serene environment it creates and the esteemed work that is done both within and beyond its walls, has earned the International Buddhist Society many awards and praise over the years. Nothing is as rewarding, however, as seeing our efforts slowly but surely improving the lives of those who have been inspired by the Dharma.

 

Our Mission

Learn our values and teachings.

The mission of the International Buddhist Society is to propagate Buddhism through its practice, and to educate all sentient beings on how to attain Enlightenment and purification of the mind. In general, Buddhism upholds the virtues of benevolence, perseverance, self-discipline, and charity. By living and studying Buddhism, we learn to be virtuous citizens while striving to free ourselves from the sufferings of reincarnation.

The Society follows the Buddha’s teachings of philanthropy and selfless compassion by doing charitable work both locally and abroad. We also wish to enlighten all visitors to the temple, and enrich their lives with the philosophies of Buddhism through Chinese architecture, horticulture, painting, calligraphy, sculpture, and traditional ceremonies and rituals. Our temple provides a gathering place for people to experience Chinese heritage and Buddhist philosophy together, whether they come from Canada or across the world. The International Buddhist Temple is open to everyone, regardless of ethnicity, religion, nationality, age, or (dis)abilities.

Daily Dharma

Sins come from the mind, so use the mind to purify the sins,
When the mind is extinguished, the root of sins is eradicated;
Achieving the state of emptiness of both mind and sins,
That is the essence of true repentance.

― The Buddha in the Avatamsaka Sutra

Our History

Learn the history of the temple.

As a charitable, religious, and cultural organization established in 1981, the International Buddhist Society manages the International Buddhist Temple (also known as the Guan-Yin Temple). Until the temple’s opening ceremony in 1983, Buddhists in the Lower Mainland did not have an authentic Chinese temple in which to study and practice Chinese Mahayana Buddhism.

It all began in 1979, when two devout Buddhists from Hong Kong helped found the International Buddhist Society and donated one acre of land in Richmond for the construction of an authentic Chinese Buddhist temple. They also provided CAD$300,000 as the initial building fund. Their goal was to establish an influential voice in North America for introducing and advancing Buddhist philosophy and practices.

The International Buddhist Temple has six founding directors who were actively involved with managing the construction at the temple’s current site, which began in 1981. Through the founders’ persistent efforts, the Main Gracious Hall was completed in September, 1983. The temple then officially opened its doors to the public. Two years later, the Thousand Buddha Hall and the Ksitigarbha Hall (or Ancestral Hall) were also completed.

In 1986, the temple was officially inaugurated in a ceremony attended by thousands, including Richmond’s Mayor and Member of Parliament. Throughout the years, the International Buddhist Temple has received tremendous support from the general public, and is recognized for bringing the Buddhist philosophy and Chinese cultural heritage to Canada and the West. This is particularly noteworthy as Canada takes great pride in its cultural and religious diversity.

The Abbot

Learn about Venerable Guan Cheng.

The Venerable Guan Cheng has been Abbot of our temple and President of the Society’s Board of Directors since 1999. Born in Hong Kong, the Venerable has studied Buddhism for more than forty years. In 1981, he founded the International Buddhist Society with five other devout Buddhists in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada. Today, the International Buddhist Temple is run by the Society, and known world-wide as a landmark of Mahayana Buddhism and traditional Chinese architecture.

After studying Buddhism for decades, the Venerable Guan Cheng was ordained as a monk in 1999 by the Venerable Master Xu Lang and other Sangha, at Miao Fa Monastery in the United States. Since then, the Venerable Guan Cheng has traveled all over the world, administering the Society’s charities and holding lectures in both English and Chinese. He also handles the daily affairs of the International Buddhist Temple. Most recently, he was chosen as one of the two delegates for Canada at the First World Buddhist Forum held in Hangzhou, China, with tremendous support from the Chinese government.

The Venerable Guan Cheng hosts a Dharma Talk five days a week, on the Chinese radio station AM 1320 (Overseas Chinese Voice) in Vancouver, Canada, and the Metroshowbiz FM 99.7 radio station in Hong Kong. He is also a bi-weekly Chinese language columnist for Hong Kong’s Buddhist Compassion Magazine, and has published four books in Chinese: Happiness Originates from the Mind (2003), How to Attain Happiness by Appeasing One’s Mind (2004), Prajna-Paramita Hirdya Sutra Commentary (2006), and A Bouquet of Incense from the Heart (2006).

The Venerable Guan Cheng is a Certified Management Accountant (C.M.A.), and holds B.A. and M.B.A. degrees from the University of Toronto. He speaks fluent English, Cantonese, and Mandarin Chinese.

Awards

Notable awards and distinctions.

Point of Pride

For its spectacular architecture and meticulous workmanship, the City of Richmond acknowledges the International Buddhist Temple as Richmond’s “Point of Pride”.

award-point

First place, Richmond Landscape & Garden Contest

The temple has taken first place in the City of Richmond’s Landscape and Garden Contest for more than 10 years in a row, under the Church/Temple category. The awards gala is held each year at the Gateway Theatre in Richmond.

125th Centennial Award

In 1993, the founders of the temple received the 125th Centennial Award from the Lieutenant Governor of Canada, for “Significant Contribution to the Canadian Community”.