Dai Dang Meditation Center began in the United States in 2001 in Bonsall California to bring the benefits of the Mahayana Buddhist Practice to North America. From the very beginning our key objective has been to clarify and adapt the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama for Western modes of thinking and to provide a design for living for all Americans who speak English.
Every Sunday at 9:30am the English-speaking Sangha gathers to recite chants that honor the teachings of the Buddha, to practice and teach deep Zen Meditation, and to discuss the integration of the Buddhist practice into our daily lives.
Our monthly schedule also includes a day of retreat in which we remain silent, do walking meditation in our Zen gardens, and focus on extended sessions of meditation. At any time, we can also schedule one on one consultations with monks for visitors who want further instruction in the Dharma, and to discuss in further detail how the teachings of an Indian sage of the 3rd century BC, can be applied to the daily challenges we all face in our complex world of work, family and raising children.
All of this is followed by a free vegan lunch which is lovingly prepared by the monastics and lay people of our Vietnamese – American Sangha. Cooperation within our community is demonstrated in everything we do and maintaining harmony, is an important of aspect of this process.
Many western people search for spiritual sustenance in a world beset by political, economic, and social turmoil. We’ve realized that the spiritual practices handed down to us from our parents and grandparents, don’t work for us anymore. We’ve been raised to believe that this current life is nothing more than preparation for the afterlife and that the kingdom of heaven awaits all those who follow the rules of our forebears. After the social upheavals that took place in the 60’s and 70’s, our generation and all those that followed began a search for real answers to the urgent questions of the day. Why was there war, famine and pestilence? Why have our leaders failed us and pursued narrow self-interest, rather than the greater good of the people? And why have our religious leaders failed in helping us to rear our children, often in ways that we could never have imagined even 15 years ago?
The Buddhism that we practice at Dai Dang Meditation Center does not purport to give us answers to all these questions. We do not guarantee that our efforts will change the world for the better overnight, and eliminate the problems that have plagued us since we became “civilized” human beings some 10,000 years ago. We offer you the entry to a spiritual path that will move you toward the Enlightenment that the Buddha experienced after 6 years of wandering, meditation, self-abnegation, and finally the liberation from suffering that he found under the Bodhi Tree when he was 30 years old.
Please join us on this path of self-discovery, and learn how to alleviate your own suffering then work on the liberation of others from their suffering. Meditation is the core of our practice and helps to accomplish this liberation. Our monks and guest speakers are all trained in meditation and in the teaching of the Buddha Dharma. Please join us any Sunday at 9:30am in the main house.