About Us

Who We Are

The Grand Rapids Buddhist Temple is an American Mahayana temple rooted in the Korean Seon (Zen) tradition. In order for anything to grow, it must have a root. It is, therefore, our wish to honor this tradition by making it accessible to our community while adapting it to address the needs and conditions facing modern practitioners. As a community it is our wish to be ordinary people of great aspiration embodying the Dharma qualities of humility, honesty, friendship, and integrity, and to inspire others to live within the wise view of complete unimpeded difference, the unconditional openness to the way things are, and the spiritual equality of all beings. 

Our Practice 

Our practice is Bodhisattva Seon. We affirm the value of a strong ethical foundation, comprehensive study of Buddhist teachings, and meditation as an interrelated, inclusive, and holistic form of cultivation. In keeping with our tradition, we promote the practice of prostrations, chanting, contemplation, mindfulness, and inquiry (hwadu) meditation which forms the essential foundation for our Bodhisattva life of boundless compassionate activity and universal kindness. This foundation is none other than our own Buddha-nature which makes the freedom of cultivation and compassionate activity possible. And so, our practice is a returning practice. Constantly returning to and cultivating the calm, luminous awareness that is complete, accessible, and always present in all sentient beings equally. All practices are our skillful tools for returning to this foundation and living meaningfully in the world. The more we return to this awareness, the more we trust it, and the more deeply rooted and spontaneous it becomes in our lives. Thus, everyday ordinary life becomes the way of a Buddha.

We operate on a donation basis only in keeping with our practice of generosity (dana). We hope that every person who participates with us will find it of value and will support our efforts by sharing their time and by making a donation.