Kaiyuan Si 开元寺

Submitted by Pierce Salguero on Mon, 02/12/2018 - 00:23
1811 Cottman Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19111

40.0533186, -75.0691796

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, est. around 2007, moved to new location in 2014. One monk in residence.

Local Setting, Neighborhood, Demographics

The temple mainly attracts first-generation Asian Americans of Chinese descent, many from the Fujian province. A handful of people of non-Asian descent also come to worship as well. The temple does not hold mediation sessions. 

Connections with Healing

The practices at the temple focusing on health include rituals, chants, and prayer. The monks lead sessions that heavily involve incense offerings (shaoxiang 燒香) and worship of the Buddha (lifo 禮佛), which promotes good health, longevity, and happiness. They also lead sūtra chants, where a particular sūtra is chosen for one’s particular situation. Practitioners utilize scriptures such as Great Compassion Mantra 大悲咒, the Heart Sūtra 心經, the Chapter on Deliverance from the Lotus Sūtra 法華經, and the Flower Ornament Sūtra 華嚴經. There is a belief that sickness is sometimes caused by spirits of the deceased who have not moved onto the afterlife. After the sessions, practitioners will often stay for a vegetarian meal, which is said to have a cleansing effect on one’s health and karma.

Best Time to Visit

Sun. 10am to lunchtime.