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10 Interesting Facts About The City of Ten Thousand Buddhas



California, a melting pot of cultures and spiritual practices, is home to one of the largest Buddhist communities in the United States. The City of Ten Thousand Buddhas (CTTB) in Ukiah stands as a beacon of Buddhist teachings and practices. Don’t be ashamed if you’ve never heard of this California haven for spiritual peace. Here are 10 fascinating facts about this remarkable place that highlight its significance and allure.

1. Founding and Vision

Big buddha


The City of Ten Thousand Buddhas was founded in 1974 by Master Hsuan Hua, a highly respected Chinese Buddhist monk. His vision was to create a sanctuary for Buddhist practice and education in the West, a place where people from all walks of life could come together to learn and grow spiritually. The site was originally a state hospital, and transforming it into a vibrant spiritual community was no small feat. Master Hua’s dedication to spreading Buddhism in America has left a lasting legacy, making CTTB a prominent center for Buddhist learning and practice. His teachings emphasized compassion, wisdom, and the importance of moral integrity, values that continue to permeate the community today.

2. Vast and Serene Campus

drawings in sand


Spanning over 488 acres, the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas offers a serene environment for meditation and reflection. The expansive campus includes lush gardens, tranquil ponds, and scenic walking paths that invite visitors to connect with nature. The harmonious integration of natural beauty and spirituality creates an ideal setting for introspection and personal growth. Visitors can find peace and tranquility amidst the campus’s numerous green spaces, which are meticulously maintained to reflect the community’s commitment to environmental stewardship. The serene atmosphere of CTTB makes it a haven for those seeking respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

3. Diverse Community



The City of Ten Thousand Buddhas is home to a diverse community of monks, nuns, laypeople, and volunteers from around the world. This multicultural environment fosters a rich exchange of ideas and practices, enhancing the spiritual experience for everyone involved. The inclusive nature of the community reflects the universal values of Buddhism and its adaptability to different cultures. Residents and visitors alike benefit from the diverse perspectives and teachings offered at CTTB, which help to cultivate a deeper understanding of Buddhist principles. The community’s commitment to inclusivity and diversity ensures that everyone feels welcome and valued.

4. Educational Institutions

Buddhist school


Education is a cornerstone of the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, with several schools and institutes dedicated to Buddhist learning. The Dharma Realm Buddhist University offers undergraduate and graduate programs in Buddhist studies and liberal arts, emphasizing moral development and holistic learning. Additionally, the Developing Virtue Secondary School provides education for middle and high school students, integrating academic excellence with spiritual growth. These institutions are dedicated to instilling Buddhist principles in their curricula, fostering a new generation of mindful and compassionate individuals. The emphasis on both academic and moral education ensures that students are well-rounded and prepared to contribute positively to society.

5. Daily Ceremonies and Practices



The daily routine at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas includes a variety of ceremonies and practices that adhere to traditional Buddhist rituals. These activities include chanting, meditation, and Dharma talks, which are open to visitors and residents. Participating in these practices provides a deep sense of connection to the teachings of the Buddha. The disciplined schedule and communal activities foster a strong sense of spiritual community, allowing individuals to support each other on their spiritual journeys. Engaging in daily practices helps visitors and residents alike deepen their understanding and commitment to Buddhist teachings.

6. The Ten Thousand Buddhas Hall



One of the most striking features of CTTB is the Ten Thousand Buddhas Hall, a magnificent temple adorned with thousands of Buddha statues. Each statue symbolizes a prayer or dedication, creating a powerful atmosphere of reverence and devotion. The hall serves as a central place for worship and meditation, drawing visitors from around the globe. Its architectural beauty and spiritual significance make it a focal point of the community. The sheer number of statues, each meticulously crafted, highlights the depth of faith and devotion present at CTTB. Visitors often find themselves moved by the serene and contemplative atmosphere of the hall.

7. Vegan Lifestyle

Monks with bowls


The City of Ten Thousand Buddhas promotes a vegan lifestyle (seitan, , aligning with the Buddhist principle of ahimsa, or non-violence. The community runs a vegan restaurant, Jyun Kang, which offers delicious and healthy meals to residents and visitors. The emphasis on plant-based living extends to the campus gardens, which are cultivated using organic and sustainable practices. This commitment to a compassionate lifestyle reflects the core values of Buddhism and promotes overall well-being. The vegan diet at CTTB is not only a dietary choice but also a manifestation of the community’s dedication to living in harmony with all living beings.

8. Cultural Events and Festivals



Throughout the year, CTTB hosts various cultural events and festivals that celebrate Buddhist traditions and promote cross-cultural understanding. These events include traditional ceremonies, lectures, and performances that highlight the rich heritage of Buddhism. Festivals such as Vesak, which commemorate the birth, enlightenment, and death of the Buddha, attract large crowds and foster a sense of community. These celebrations provide an opportunity for people of all backgrounds to learn about and engage with Buddhist culture. The vibrant and inclusive nature of these events ensures that everyone can participate and benefit from the shared cultural experiences.

9. Environmental Stewardship



Environmental stewardship is a key principle at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. The community is dedicated to sustainable practices, including organic farming, water conservation, and renewable energy initiatives. These efforts aim to minimize the ecological footprint of the community and promote harmony with nature. The commitment to environmental sustainability is an extension of Buddhist teachings on interconnectedness and respect for all forms of life. CTTB’s green initiatives serve as a model for how spiritual communities can lead by example in caring for the planet. Visitors can witness the community’s dedication to preserving the environment for future generations.

10. Open to Visitors

Buddha resting


The City of Ten Thousand Buddhas welcomes visitors from all over the world, offering tours, retreats, and educational programs. Guests are encouraged to participate in daily practices and explore the serene campus. The open-door policy reflects the community’s mission to share Buddhist teachings and foster spiritual growth. Visiting CTTB provides a unique opportunity to experience the tranquility and wisdom of a traditional Buddhist monastery in the heart of California. The welcoming atmosphere ensures that everyone feels at home, whether they are seasoned practitioners or newcomers to Buddhism.

Buddhism in America



The City of Ten Thousand Buddhas is a remarkable testament to the spread of Buddhism in the West, offering a sanctuary for spiritual practice, education, and cultural exchange. Its diverse community, commitment to sustainability, and welcoming environment make it a unique and enriching destination. For more insights into religious history and cultural cornerstones and to stay updated on future events, subscribe to our newsletter and join our community today. Discover the serene beauty and profound wisdom that CTTB has to offer.

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