Rulai Si 如來寺

Submitted by Pierce Salguero on Mon, 02/12/2018 - 00:18
147 Wyoming Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19140

40.0220013, -75.1263474

Geographic Origin(s) of Institution
Information Not Available
Date Last Visited
Main Cultural/Linguistic/Ethnic Affiliation(s) of Members or Participants
Major Sectarian Affiliation(s)
Other Basic Information

Chinese Mahayana temple first est. 1985, now in third location. Three to five monastics in residence.

Local Setting, Neighborhood, Demographics

The majority of the attendees are Chinese. There are two main devotional halls where Buddhist practices and teachings take place. In one of the devotional spaces, there is an altar with three Buddha statues, while in the other space there is an altar with a statue of Guanyin. The temple holds ceremonies that focus on chanting to the various deities. 

Connections with Healing

According to our interviewees, people often come to the temple to participate in ceremonies where parts of the Diamond Sūtra are recited. The interviewees believe that this practice helps practitioners to forget about their problems, to find peace when an experience or emotion is overwhelming, and to connect with the Buddhist teachings on emptiness. Other temple practice focuses on cultivating compassion, which promotes wellbeing since there is less negativity in one’s environment.

The temple teaches dantian 丹田 breathing meditation (i.e., breathing into the lower abdomen, considered to be extremely important to a person’s health throughout their life). Through this practice, ultimately, the qi (i.e., the Chinese concept of energy in the body) will be calmed, which will benefit both the mind and the body. The interviewees stated that various illnesses are caused because of unbalanced qi, and that by practicing this type of meditation one can calm and balance it to achieve health and well-being. 

Best Time to Visit

Open daily 10–4, public ceremonies Sun. around noon.