Hsi Lai Joins the Jam at the Getty 25 Community Art Festival

As Hsi Lai Temple’s latest outreach effort, temple docents, Young Adult Division (YAD), and BLIA members banded together under the guidance of Venerable Hui Cheng, to celebrate Getty Center’s 25th Anniversary by offering Doodling Chan and Modular Origami workshops at the Getty 25 Community Art Festival, at El Monte’s Tony Arceo Memorial Park on July 16 & 17, 2022. Alongside the interactive sessions, the temple resource booth shared brochures, booklets, bookmarks, and PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) with festival-goers, showcasing the functions and spirit of Hsi Lai Temple.

It has always been Fo Guang Shan’s (Hsi Lai Temple’s HQ) mission to reach out to the community through myriad expedient avenues. Art has served as common ground for those who otherwise did not have the affinities to connect with its 300 temples around the world. Visitors sat down to join the temple’s interactive art sessions, only to leave with a mind of concentration and calmness. The YAD members leading the sessions had incorporated elements of mindfulness and meditation into the making of art. After the sessions, participants rejoined the festival’s boisterous bustle with a fresh and calm mind, however paradoxical that sounds.

Many visitors took delight in the free offerings of resources, as well as, the friendly chats with temple docents and BLIA members. While some had already visited the temple before, many were intrigued to learn about the lineup of classes and programs offered. Those who had not visited the temple before—some being locals of the area—made a point to check out the booth representing the largest Buddhist temple in North America.

Surprisingly, two college friends who had not seen each other for over 10 years, after parting ways upon graduation, coincidently reunited while at the temple booth! Talk about affinity.

The temple’s participation in the two-day festival reached out to many— particularly to a crowd quite different from what the temple see’s through its doors. This is a testament to finding common ground through art, and collaborating with the community to enhance cultural diversity.