Mahayana Pureland/Thien temple est. 1995, affiliated with the Buddhist Sangha of Vietnam. No monks in residence.
Located in South Philadelphia. Temple’s attendees are of Vietnamese descent, both first- and second-generation. Many children attend youth programs that focus on language and Vietnamese culture. However, there are also a handful of non-Vietnamese attendees who attend for various reasons.
The practices at the temple primarily focus on chanting, specifically for the deceased. The general activities involve praying for people’s wellbeing and health. Cultivating good karma is also emphasized. One way good karma is practiced is through a vegetarian diet. Not all the practitioners are pure vegetarian, but will sacrifice eating meat on the first day and fifteen of every month, based on the lunar calendar. We are told that the meals served at the temple are healthy and chemical-free, also linking good karma and good health.