Fo Guang Shan is an international Chinese Mahayana Buddhist monastic order. Recently, I had the opportunity to attend a dinner at one of the Fo Guang Shan temples in Manila. I was invited by one of their volunteers to a vegan feast that would be followed by chanting and learning about Buddhism. The night sounded interesting and delicious, so I made sure to clear my calendar.
I went with a PETA staffer, both of us looking forward to tasty vegan food, and when we arrived; we were shocked by the modern atmosphere of the temple. It was very different from many temples that I’ve visited. It had WiFi, an elevator, air conditioning, and so much more. We were given a tour of the temple and then taken to a dining area inside. Everything was very beautiful and calming—it encouraged a feeling of Zen.
The dinner was a buffet that included fried mock meat, vegetables, spring rolls, and many other dishes that were all authentically Chinese. I was told that the chef came from Taiwan and imports all the ingredients from Taiwan and Japan. We were allowed to eat as much as we wanted but were reminded not to waste any food.
As we were leaving the temple, we rescued a stray kitten who was alone in the street. I feel like that was the will of Buddha. The whole night was delightful. The temple offers this free meal and service every Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon, so if you ever find yourself in Manila, you should go.
Posted by intern Danni Yang