Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Temple of Good Fortune and Wisdom

I can see the tops of the two steeples of the building through my kitchen window, which has a northern view. Formerly a Catholic church, the building was empty for years, and I worried that it would be torn down. Fortunately, the new owners have been doing some remodeling and earthquake proofing for a year or so, and the building is now the Temple of Good Fortune and Wisdom, at 1822 Eddy St., near the intersection of Eddy and Divisadero. The new owners turn out to be a Buddhist group of the Tibetan variety, which I was able to conclude from pooling my ignorance with the information in the pamphlet a pleasant young man gave me as he showed me the inside of the temple. I was impressed: Nice space, with a large, colorful statue of the Buddha himself and, at the opposite end of the room, a protector diety whose name escapes me.

The pamphlet informs us that "Hsi-Jao Ken-Teng Rinpoche, the head of the Temple of Good Fortune and Wisdom, acts in accordance with Buddhism to benefit all living beings." Sounds like these folks are going to be good for the neighborhood, and I bet they won't let the sound of a little gun play at night bother them.

The pamphlet also tells us that "The Honorable 2nd Hsi-Jao Jie-Bu Rinpoche, who is the main leader of the Hsi-Jao Sects and the reincarnation of a close disciple of Guru Padmasambhava, is currently visiting the U.S. from India." Sure enough there was a rather cheerful man in robes who seemed to dart away as I approached the open doors of the temple. He probably knew right away that I was bad karma. The jolliest people I've ever met have all been Buddhists. And note too that you never hear about Buddhist terrorists or suicide bombers.

Anyway, take a look and maybe meet the Rinpoche, too.

They have a website, but, unless you read Chinese or Tibetan or whatever the hell it is, it will availeth you not to go there: http://www.tgfw.org/. The phone number: (415) 673-2311

This website is more accessible: http://www.yunart.org/home.html

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