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Chua Bo De

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Basic information
1114 S 13th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147, USA
Sectarian affiliation(s):
  • Mahayana
Cultural, linguistic, ethnic representation:
  • Vietnamese
Geographic origins of institution, founder, or network:
  • Vietnam
Best time to visit:

Sundays 9am–3pm

Date last visited: March 6, 2016
Currently active?: As of the last time it was visited by our research team, this location was open.
Other Basic Information:

Mahayana Pure Land temple est. 1995, affiliated with the Buddhist Sangha of Vietnam and the Asian American Buddhist Association. Two monks in residence.

Local setting, neighborhood, demographics

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.

Connections with medicine, healing, wellness

The general activities involve chanting and praying for people’s wellbeing and health. Cultivating good karma is also emphasized, especially 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 dietary choices and good health. Blessed water can also have curative effects.