The Bodhi Lectern


      The Founder of the Bodhi-Dhamma Center, 8603-39th Avenue S.W., Seattle, is Upasaka Takping Pong. He came to this country in 1924, and after a three-year period he came to realize how the Buddhadharma could benefit the cultural and spiritual life in this country. He had wanted to establish a foundation wherein Buddhism could be studied and carried into practice. As early as the 1930's while in Ann Arbor. Michigan, he acquired a piece of land where he intended to establish a Study Center, and in the early 1950's he acquired another piece of land on Lake Michigan on which he planned to build a monastery for the study of the teachings of the Buddha. However, because of a turn in personal events, he resettled in Seattle.

To show his gratitude for having received the opportunity to obtain the material benefits of life in this country, he has now established the Bodhi-Dhamma Center in Seattle. The Center provides a meeting place where people 'may come' to study: the unsurpassed teachings of Buddha meditate to harmonize the mind, resolve the doubts and irritations, which beset them on all sides, and to reach spiritual peace. Looting at the present social turmoil in the country and around the world, Upasaka Pong's foresight is evident. A Teal necessity exists for such work.

On July 21, 1974, at a joint meeting of the general membership of the Sino-American Buddhist Association and the Bodhi-Dhamma Center, a proposal to merge the two organizations was endorsed by a unanimous resolution to affiliate the Bodhi-Dhamma Center with the Sino-American Buddhist Association. The aim of the Center is to provide a place for the study and practice of the Buddhadharma in the Seattle area, including a city center and a mountain meditation center and monastery to be constructed, on land on the Skagit River near Marblemount, Washington.  The city center and mountain land are the generous donation of Upasaka Takping Pong.

A fifteen member Board of Directors was elected at the joint meeting including Venerable Master Hua as Chairman of the Board, and Bhiksu Heng Ju and Upasaka Takping Pong as Vice-Chairman.