History

History of  Sudhavasa Buddhist Meditation Center

 Sudhavasa Buddhist Meditation Center 3687 Fleming Street Riverside, California USA 92509

Introduction

Even though there were 37 Thai Buddhist temples in the U.S. at that time, Ven. Achan Sakchai’s followers asked him to start his own temple in order to have a place to practice Buddhism.

With the support of his followers, Ven. Achan Sakchai, quickly realized that the new temple will be able to improve access to Buddhist teachings and practices in the Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. Ven. Achan Sakchai hoped that his new temple would expand to not only the Thai community, but also for anyone interested in Buddhism.
After 6 (six) years of working as a missionary monk in the U.S., Ven. Achan Sakchai, with help from his followers, established the Suddhavasa Buddhist Meditation Center in February 1, 1997. Suddhavasa Buddhist Meditation Center was now the 38th Thai temple in the U.S.

The word of Suddhavasa comes from the Pali language. Buddhism believe there are several different worlds beside our world. One of the world is Suddhavasa world, where the devas live and never reborn outside the Suddhavasa world, and already in the path to Arhat hood who will attain enlightenment directly from Suddhavasa world with out being reborn. Choosing Suddhavasa as a name of the temple, Ven. Achan Sakchai expect to create the Suddhavasa world in the temple, accomodate and stimulate the peaceful environment for learning, practicing and experiencing the teaching of the Buddha and hopefully every one can reach the enlightenment when the time comes.

Chronological History

In February 1, 1997, Suddhavasa Buddhist Meditation Center (SBMC) was finally open to the public. SMBC was first located at 2552 South Calavares Place, Ontario, CA. Within months, SBMC became a Non Profit Organization in the State of California and received a tax exemption on the income as an organization of charity.

Not only was the legal status of SBMC improving, the numbers of members and activities increased tremendously during this critical fledgling period.
To accommodate the rapid growth of SBMC, the SBMC Committee decided that it was time to change locations. Six months after receiving the tax exemption, the Committee found a suitable piece of land in Riverside County, a small house sitting on 2.38 acres. Located at 3687 Fleming Street, Riverside, CA, the lot was purchased to fulfill SBMC’s vision: the spread the Buddhist teachings, not only through learning and studying, but also by practicing and experiencing. Fueled by excitement, SBMC grew dramatically.

After some time in its new location, it was evident that some renovation to the property will be needed. With the growing number of members and activities, and the vision of improving the aesthetics of the temple, renovation will be a good solution. In March 9, 2000, with the support of its growing members, the ground breaking ceremony for Sala Boon renovation was held. Sala Boon, in Thai, is the hall where the activities generally take place. Within months, the renovation was completed and the new Sala Boon ready to use. December 17 2000, SBMC celebrated the completion of its new Sala Boon.
Even though the construction of the Sala Boon was done, SBMC was not. Numerous trees were planted as well to create a more natural surrounding. A lotus pond and wood patio by the side of Sala Boon was set up on June 5, 2002, making the temple a very shady, homey and tranquil place. All renovation was completed by March 7, 2003, three years after the first ground breaking ceremony.
All improvements, constructions, development were be done by the support of members everywhere.

Goals

The main goal of Suddhavasa Buddhist Meditation Center is to spread the teachings of the Buddha, not only by learning and studying Buddhist scriptures but by practicing and experiencing Buddha’s teachings.
SBMC wanted to provide a place for the people to practice meditation and learn Buddhism.
Reach out, not only for Thai community, but others communities that interested in Buddhism.
Reach out not only for Buddhist community, but other religions which are interested in learning more about Buddhism and start an open interfaith discussion.
At the same time, SBMC wanted to benefit not only for the general community, but also to help our fellow Monks grow and improve themselves in Buddhism and language, especially English.

Activities and Developments

Routine activities
1. There are events once a month at SBMC. In total, four celebrations related to Buddhism: Magga Puja, Asalha Puja, Waisaka Puja and Kathina Puja, eight related to Thai Culture. Through our events, people have a chance to listen to a Dhamma talk and practice Buddhism by sharing and giving.

2. Every Saturday, the SBMC monks lead a meditation class

Non-routine activities
1. Cooperate with local universities interested in Buddhism.
2. Special occasions for blessing for birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, and various events of commemoration.
3. Special group meditations.

After 7 years using the Sala Boon, it is now time for SBMC to expand further and build a Worship Hall / Uposatha.

The plan started when SBMC has the opportunity to buy the neighboring land that make the total lot became 3.46 acre, enhance by the fact that all the morgages are paid off.
Construction Project of the Worship Hall:

– The building will have two levels, with the total of 12.000 square feet.

– Buddha’s statue with the width of 59 inches.

– I will have a meditation room, a library, and classrooms at the lower level.

· The estimated expense for this project is approximately $3,500,000.00.

– It is projecting the construction will be completed in about two years with 5 phase

– First phase: grading, water and sewer line almost done

– Second phase, foundation will start soon

– Will continue with third phase, the building.

All this construction can possible happened by the support of all members, and anybody that interest.

If anybody interested, there are several different ways to make the contribution.

1. Make a monthly contribution of $100 for ten months, become $1000

2. Sponsor for the materials need, like roof, tile, post, door, windows etc

3. Any contributions will be appreciated.

If any question arise or need more information, Ven. Achan Sackcai, the Abbot of SBMC can be reach at (951) 360 3795

Sabbe satta bhavantu sukhitata, May all living being be happy.

By Dr. Metta Surya.

CA. Within months, SBMC became a Non Profit Organization in the State of California and received a tax exemption on the income as an organization of charity.

Not only was the legal status of SBMC improving, the numbers of members and activities increased tremendously during this critical fledgling period.
To accommodate the rapid growth of SBMC, the SBMC Committee decided that it was time to change locations. Six months after receiving the tax exemption, the Committee found a suitable piece of land in Riverside County, a small house sitting on 2.38 acres. Located at 3687 Fleming Street, Riverside, CA, the lot was purchased to fulfill SBMC’s vision: the spread the Buddhist teachings, not only through learning and studying, but also by practicing and experiencing. Fueled by excitement, SBMC grew dramatically.

After some time in its new location, it was evident that some renovation to the property will be needed. With the growing number of members and activities, and the vision of improving the aesthetics of the temple, renovation will be a good solution. In March 9, 2000, with the support of its growing members, the ground breaking ceremony for Sala Boon renovation was held. Sala Boon, in Thai, is the hall where the activities generally take place. Within months, the renovation was completed and the new Sala Boon ready to use. December 17 2000, SBMC celebrated the completion of its new Sala Boon.
Even though the construction of the Sala Boon was done, SBMC was not. Numerous trees were planted as well to create a more natural surrounding. A lotus pond and wood patio by the side of Sala Boon was set up on June 5, 2002, making the temple a very shady, homey and tranquil place. All renovation was completed by March 7, 2003, three years after the first ground breaking ceremony.
All improvements, constructions, development were be done by the support of members everywhere.

Goals

The main goal of Suddhavasa Buddhist Meditation Center is to spread the teachings of the Buddha, not only by learning and studying Buddhist scriptures but by practicing and experiencing Buddha’s teachings.
SBMC wanted to provide a place for the people to practice meditation and learn Buddhism.
Reach out, not only for Thai community, but others communities that interested in Buddhism.
Reach out not only for Buddhist community, but other religions which are interested in learning more about Buddhism and start an open interfaith discussion.
At the same time, SBMC wanted to benefit not only for the general community, but also to help our fellow Monks grow and improve themselves in Buddhism and language, especially English.

Activities and Developments

Routine activities
1. There are events once a month at SBMC. In total, four celebrations related to Buddhism: Magga Puja, Asalha Puja, Waisaka Puja and Kathina Puja, eight related to Thai Culture. Through our events, people have a chance to listen to a Dhamma talk and practice Buddhism by sharing and giving.

2. Every Saturday, the SBMC monks lead a meditation clas

Non-routine activities
1. Cooperate with local universities interested in Buddhism. Some of the universities SBMC are involved with are:
– California Baptist University
– University of California, Riverside
– Riverside Community College
– California State University in San Bernardino
– University of Phoenix
2. Special occasions for blessing for birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, and various events of commemoration.
3. Special group meditations.

After 7 years using the Sala Boon, it is now time for SBMC to expand further and build a Worship Hall / Uposatha.

The plan started when SBMC has the opportunity to buy the neighboring land that make the total lot became 3.46 acre, enhance by the fact that all the morgages are paid off.
Construction Project of the Worship Hall:

– The building will have two levels, with the total of 12.000 square feet.

– Buddha’s statue with the width of 59 inches.

– I will have a meditation room, a library, and classrooms at the lower level.

· The estimated expense for this project is approximately $3,500,000.00.

– It is projecting the construction will be completed in about two years with 5 phase

– First phase: grading, water and sewer line almost done

– Second phase, foundation will start soon

– Will continue with third phase, the building.

All this construction can possible happened by the support of all members, and anybody that interest.

If anybody interested, there are several different ways to make the contribution.

1. Make a monthly contribution of $100 for ten months, become $1000

2. Sponsor for the materials need, like roof, tile, post, door, windows etc

3. Any contributions will be appreciated.

If any question arise or need more information, Ven. Achan Sackcai, the Abbot of SBMC can be reach at (951) 360 3795

Sabbe satta bhavantu sukhitata, May all living being be happy.

 

DSC_7632

The Ratana Uposatha Sala at Suddhavasa Buddhist Meditation Center:

Its History and Relevance

An Uposatha hall in a Buddhist monastery is a worship hall in which

ceremonies for the clergy and the laity alike are performed. In particular, it is where the monks recite and listen to the 227 disciplinary rules on those Buddhist holy days that fall on the 15th day of the waxing moon (i.e. the full moon day) and either the 15th day of the waning moon or the 14th (i.e. the new moon day) if that particular lunar month has only 29 days. It is where Ordination Ceremonies for novices and for monks take place. Furthermore, it can also serve as a place where Buddhist meditation is practiced. Since a wat or Buddhist monastery would not be considered truly complete without a worship hall, it is only customary for every monastery to make efforts for such construction. Legally recognized by the US government and registered by the National Office of Buddhism in Thailand, the Suddhavasa Buddhist Meditation Center (SBMC) in Riverside, California, is the 38th Buddhist monastery under the Council of Thai Bhikkhus in the USA. In 2002, the Center’s Board of Trustees as well as patrons of the monastery first conceived the idea of, and planned for, constructing a worship hall, named “Ratana Uposatha Sala,” with Ms. Peeraya Boonprasong, an architecture lecturer at Silpakorn University in Bangkok, as architectural designer, and Mr. Shawn Chinudomsub graciously serving as project architect and taking charge of seeking permission from the Riverside County.Two years later, the Center’s Construction Committee applied to the County for a construction permit through the collaboration of both the monks and the lay people as follows:

  1. Ven. Phrakhru Videsdhammakhun (currently Phra Videsdhammakhun), Abbot of the SBMC, and the other members of the SBMC clergy
  1. Mr. Shawn Chinudomsub, architects
  2. Miss Anh Nguyen, project designer
  3. Mr. Anun Chunhacha and Mrs. Jirayus Pukkanasut, engineers
  4. Mr. Jarb Thaipejr, engineer
  5. Mrs. Alicen Wong, attorney
  6. The Advisory Panel, namely Ven. Phra Rajadhammavides (currently Phra Debmongkolvides), Abbot of Wat Thai of Los Angeles, and Ven. Phrakhru Kasemsasanavides, Deputy Abbot of Wat Thai of Los Angeles
  1. A great number of male and female lay followers, patrons, and devotees who provided consultancy and made financial contributions. It was not until August 10, 2009 that the construction plan went through a public hearing held by the County and was approved. The entire process from the application for a construction permit to its approval took as long as four years, eight months, and nine days.

On May 16, 2010, the “Ratana Mangala Sila” foundation stone laying ceremony took place. The auspicious moment for the ceremony was kindly recommended by the late Highly Venerable Somdet Phra Buddhacharya (Kiao Upasena Mahathera), Abbot of Wat Saket in Bangkok and Chair of the Working Group Acting on Behalf of the Supreme Patriarch. It was Sunday, the third day of the waxing moon of the seventh lunar month, in the year of the tiger, at 2:19 p.m. On the clergy side, the event was presided over by the late Ven. Phra Debkittisobhon, of Wat Vajiradhammapadip in New York, who was President of the Council of Thai Bhikkhus in the USA. Among the senior monks present were Ven. Phra Rajadhammavides (currently Phra Debmongkolvides), of Wat Thai of Los Angeles, Ven. Phra Videsdhammarangsi (currently Phra Rajamongkolrangsi), of Wat Thai of Washington, DC, and Ven. Phra Videsdhammakavi (currently Phra Rajadhammavides), of Wat Buddhanusorn, Fremont. There were also many monks, senior and junior, attending the event. On the laity side, Mr. Damrong Kraikruan, Royal Thai Consul-General in Los Angeles, presided over the opening ceremony. Mr. Noppadon Wongchaiwat, President of IPTV Corp., chaired the Steering Committee on the Event Organization. Miss Orasa Tanticharoenkiat, President of Econo Travel Inc., chaired the Event Organization Committee. Last but not least, Mrs. Arunee Chamroon, of Best Thai Cuisine, and Mrs. Pitchsinee Sandua jointly presided over the Forest-Robe Presentation Ceremony. Apart from this, there have been several fund-raising events over the years with a large number of supporters.

The construction work for the Worship Hall, which was solely taken up by Dalke & Sons Construction, Inc., took approximately four years to complete, at a cost of about 4,700,000 USD or 146,000,000 THB. The Ratana Uposatha Sala is a two-storied construction of applied Thai architectural design with three facades, a dimension of 60 feet in width, 100 feet in length, and 46 feet in height, and a utility space of about 12,000 square feet. It is a multi-purpose building serving the following functions:

  1. to house the principal Buddha image, a replica of Phra Buddha Jinaraj with a breadth of 59 inches measured from knee to knee of the image in sitting cross-legged meditation posture
  1. to accommodate the performance of ecclesiastic acts, e.g. the biweekly recitation of the 227 disciplinary rules on Buddhist holy days as mentioned earlier, Ordination Ceremonies for novices and for monks, and Post-Retreat Robe Presentation Ceremonies
  1. to be a place for Buddhists and the general public to make merit, e.g. by offering alms, observing the precepts, listening to sermons, and performing rituals on important Buddhist holy days, especially Maghapuja Day, Visakhapuja Day (or Vesak Day), Asalhapuja Day, Retreat Entry Day, and Retreat Ending Day
  1. to facilitate Buddhist meditation practice, making available a meditation room and resting quarters
  1. to provide a venue for Thai children and international visitors to study Buddhism and Thai language, art, and culture, with such facilities as a classroom, a library, an audiovisual room, and a computer room.

The Ratana Uposatha Sala is only the fourth Uposatha hall to have been built in Southern California in the past 46 years. This fact alone testifies how difficult it is for such an endeavor to be accomplished. The case of the SBMC is no exception. It has taken no small amount of strenuous effort for over eight years on the part of numerous monks and lay followers mainly in the United States and partly in Thailand, all of whom have contributed in one way or another their cooperation, moral support, labor, and financial resources. The SBMC would therefore like to express its appreciation for all the monks, senior and junior, who have lent their support to the construction of the Worship Hall. Thanks also go to those merit-minded lay devotees for their patronage, which has successively and successfully brought this project to completion.

May the power of the Triple Gem together with the merit that all the devotees have attentively and ardently made in various ways be the potent contributing factors to their own and their families’ thriving in the fivefold blessing of longevity, beauty, wealth, honor, and retinue, with all their wholesome aspirations ever fulfilled.

 

Ratana Uposatha Sala, Wat Suddhavasa

Ratana being a gem, brilliant and beautiful,

Uposatha hall, a place for ecclesiastical acts,

Sala, spacious, built for use as wished,

Wat upholding the Buddha’s Teaching,

Suddha- shining gloriously in America,

Vasa indeed meant for accommodations,

For study, for Dhamma practice, and for recreation,

Ratana Uposatha will thus stay a monument for the virtuous

 

Direction to Suddhavasa BMC

From Los Angeles:
Take 60 Fwy East (pass 15 Fwy) exit at Pedley Rd. and tuin left; turn left onto Granite Hill Dr.: turn right at first right street (Fleming St.) (fourth house on the left hand side).

From Las Vagas:
Take 15 Fwy South to 60 Fwy East, exit at Pedley Rd. and turn left; turn left onto Granite Hill Dr.; turn right at first right street (Fleming St.) (fourth house on the left hand side).

From Riverside:
Take 60 Fwy West; exit Pedley Rd. and turn right; turn left noto Granite Hill Dr.; turn right at first right street (Fleming St.) (fourth house on the left hand side).

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