The History of
Long beach Sagely Monastery
A Talk by
the Ven. Master Hsuan Hua
at Long Beach Sagely Monastery
the First Memorial Volume
Commemorating the Anniversary of
the Ven. Master Hsuan Hua's Entering
[Addressing the assembly] You should all know how Long Beach
Sagely Monastery was established.
We are very lucky to have such a fine place. It used to be a
Catholic convent. The nuns lived a cloistered life here for 40
years. Since they never went out, they had their own clinic and
their own bakery for making bread and cookies.
Although people made offerings to them, the convent was not entirely open
to the public. There was a small area in the front for visitors, but
the rest of the convent was closed to the public.
Later, feeling that the
place no longer suited their needs, the nuns moved to a new place in Santa
Barbara. The timing was right....
Ven. Master: ...I did not come here to take a look--I only listened to your
description of the place. I didn't see it before we bought it.
a famous landmark in Long Beach because the nuns lived and cultivated here
for 40 years. All the local Catholics know this place. If you
just mention that it's at the intersection of Redondo Avenue and Ocean
Boulevard, people will know it.
When we bought the
place, we asked them to leave the statue of the Virgin Mary in the front,
because we also worship her as Guanyin Bodhisattva. Even now,
Catholics still come to pay homage and bring lots of fresh flowers to
offer to her every day.
Originally, there wasn't
an area large enough to serve as a Buddha hall. The Buddha hall we
are sitting in now used to be a garden. After we drew up a design
and applied for permits from the City, we converted the garden into the
Ven. Master: You should all know the
history of Long Beach Sagely Monastery. It was purchased by
the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas--no one else paid a penny. I
remember the history of each of our temples very well.
I want to tell you that,
from now on, you may make donations according to your ability--whether you
wish to perform services to save the deceased, renovate a temple, and so
on. Although we now have so many temples and the expenses are not
small, we can still manage to feed and clothe everyone, and no one will
have to freeze or go hungry.
Now, you who are my
disciples should know that your teacher is poor, and you ought to follow
me in poverty. Once you have money, troubles come and you cannot
cultivate. Once you have wealth, you will want to eat, drink, and
have fun--and you will stop at nothing. You won't be like your
teacher who uses the same napkin for many days. I don't think any of
my disciples do that. You are all from free
countries and don't know how to be thrifty.
For that reason, I don't want
to be like those money-grubbers who say,
"What Heaven has conferred is
called money; accordance with nature is called money. Money may not
be parted with for an instant."
Today, I am very happy.
This monastery is much bigger than the one we had on Huntington Drive [one
of the previous locations of Gold Wheel Sagely Monastery] in
1976. It has a garden and overlooks the ocean, and the air is quite
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