Hsi Lai, meaning Coming West, is a Buddhist monastery in the Puente Hills of Los Angeles County. Affiliated with the Fo Guang Shan, the Hsi Lai Temple is the first of its kind for the religious order overseas and continues to serve as the order's North American headquarters.
This beautiful temple practices Humanistic Buddhism, a newer philosophy of Chinese Buddhism which focuses on merging Buddha's teachings into everyday life. There is a vibrant emphasis on the living rather than the dead as many Buddhist orders proclaim, and it comes through in the bright nature of the Hsi Lai Temple.
No matter your religion, Hsi Lai welcomes visitors from all over the world. The temple is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm, though there are basic guidelines for visitors such as no smoking and they request no meat or alcohol be brought on the grounds. There are options for weekend "drop-in" tours as well as scheduled tours for larger groups to see the historic and religious extent of Hsi Lai Temple. Start at the Information Center and head out with a knowledgeable docent and explore almost the entire temple grounds, except the museum which may be visited for a small admission price. There is also a vegetarian buffet option for hungry lunch visitors, a Tea Room and Bookstore, and Art Gallery.