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News from the Dharma Realm

Avatamsaka Vihara Has Relocated!

邱親嵐文 by Susan Chyou
捨擔 英譯 English Translation by She Dan

沿著華府的環城公路,經過三十九號河濱路出口往西走,在第一個紅綠燈右轉,上七閘路,開一英里,很快就可看到右邊一棟有金黃色屋簷的白色一層樓建築房子;當汽車駛近時,就看見銅製的「華嚴精舍 Avatamsaka Vihara」在陽光下閃閃發光,這就是華嚴精舍的新道場。




Follow Washington D.C.’s Beltway, take Exit 39 - River Road West, turn right at the first traffic light, and you will be on Seven Locks Road. Drive for another mile and you will see a white one-story building with golden roof tiles on your right. That is the new Way-place, Avatamsaka Vihara.

With easy access from Virginia and Washington D.C., the new Way-place is in an upper class residential neighborhood in Maryland. The two-acre site includes a 12,000 square foot building and 2,000 square foot hallway. The front and back parking lots can accommodate up to 156 cars. It is accessible from all directions.

Four years ago, as more and more laypeople came to the temple, the original place became too small. The neighbors also objected to the high volume of traffic on Sundays. We started to rent the auditorium at a nearby elementary school for the Sunday ceremonies. At the same time, a committee of ten was formed to organize the purchase and renovation of a new place.

After a vigorous search, we finally bought the West Bethesda Post Office in Maryland. Because of the lease, the post office remained there for two years after purchase, allowing the Committee plenty of time to make plans. Since the renovation fund was limited and based on the tradition of the Venerable Master Hua, the renovation was done in keeping with the guidelines of no waste and no luxury, using whatever material was on hand. Except for parts that were not up to code which had to be removed, the original construction in the post office remained for the most part. Only a new kitchen was added, because the capacity at the new Way-place is over 500 people and so the facility has to meet the commercial code.



新道場之地址:9601 Seven Locks Road
       Bethesda, MD 20817
       電話:(301) 469-8300


The renovation permit was obtained in August 2002, and the renovation started at the beginning of September. In order to save money, the Dharma Masters called for volunteer workers. Each one applied his or her talent to the construction. The hardest part was fixing the roof leaks. We had to locate the leaks, clean them, apply asphalt, and attach already-glued rubber plates evenly and neatly. Especially in the mornings, the areas around the leaks were frozen. Hence this job required great sincerity and patience. The laypeople worked with great cooperation.

The new Avatamsaka Vihara was completed in January and officially opened to the public on February 1st. It provides a holy place for people in the Washington D.C. area to cultivate. We have scheduled a Ceremony for Inviting the Buddhas to Dwell Peacefully at our Wayplace on June 15th and a seven-day “Emperor Liang’s Jeweled Repentance” starting then. Everyone is welcome.

Our new address is:
9601 Seven Locks Road
Bethesda, MD 20817
Tel: (301) 469-8300


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