Zen Master Thich Thanh Tu
Quang Chieu (in English: Shining Sunlight) Zen Monastery was established by a
group of North Texas Vietnamese Zen Buddhists who are followers of
the Vietnamese Zen Master Thich Thanh Tu. The Master, whose home Monastery
is Truc Lam in the Central Highlands of Vietnam, is a writer and poet
who is internationally known among religious scholars, particularly
for his efforts to rejuvenate Vietnamese Zen. He is also the spiritual
leader of many thousands of Zen practitioners in the United States
and around the world. After reading books written by Master Thich Thanh
Tu and listening to his dharma lectures on audio cassettes, with the
desire to learn more about Buddhism, to practice meditation, and to
spread the Master's teachings about Vietnamese Zen throughout the world,
his followers, who are living in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, committed
to building a house of dharma somewhere in North Texas.
As Buddhist practitioners,
their intention was not only to practice Buddhism for themselves, but
also create the opportunity for all people,
particularly Westerners, to participate in this meditation-focused
path to achieve a peaceful mind in the present, and be liberated
from birth and death in the future. With boundless compassion, these
Buddhists, most of whom natives of Vietnam, overcame many early obstacles
to lay the foundation for Vietnamese Zen in North Texas.
In 2000, this small group of devotees used their own money to purchase
10 acres of hilltop land on Rendon Road near Fort Worth. The acreage
is liberally dotted with large and small oak trees creating a naturally
quiet and peaceful environment. An old building on the property
was immediately converted into a sanctuary hall for daily dharma
and other Buddhist activities.
Inspired by their efforts, Master Thich Thanh Tu decided to travel
from his home monastery in Vietnam to visit North Texas. On October
15, 2000, the Monastery was inaugurated in the presence of the
Master, who officially named the hilltop land “Quang Chieu Zen
Quang Chieu became the first Zen monastery Master Thich Thanh
Tu authorized to be built in the United States.
Venerable Bikkhuni Thich Nu Hanh Dieu
In his inauguration
speech, the Master said that he would like to see nuns and laity
achieve the goals set forth by the Sakyamuni
Enlightenment and Self-emancipation by practicing his teachings
and to spread Buddhism throughout the world. To help his followers
these goals, the Master dispatched Abbess Thich Nu Hanh Dieu,
the leading nuns from Truc Lam Monastery in Vietnam to oversee
the new North Texas Zen community.
In the years since the inauguration,
Quang Chieu Zen Monastery has undergone tremendous improvements through
the commitment, devotion, compassion, and wide support of many Buddhists
both locally and worldwide. The main feature is a magnificent, 4000-square-foot
meditation hall erected with voluntary labor in less than a year. On
Dec. 14, 2003, community leaders, Buddhist devotees, and many monks
and nuns from around the world attended the main hall’s grand opening.
now also has rooms for out-of-town disciples who wish to
study Buddhism, a Vietnamese classroom for children, a guest lounge,
a kitchen and
dining room, an exhibition/distribution room and a storage
Today, drivers along Rendon
Road look up to see the yellow of the main hall mixing with the green
of the surrounding
a scene of great tranquillity on the hilltop. Visitors
approach the Monastery by driving up a concrete driveway lined with
trees on both sides, allowing for year-round greenery.
evergreens symbolize the ever-present Buddha-nature within
all sentient beings.
Elsewhere on the grounds, two matching lion statues guard
the 33 marble steps ascending to the Sanctuary Hall. To
is the Patriarch Bodhidharma garden, where a stream flows
downhill through large rocks and winds through beautiful
and flowers. The babbling sounds of streaming water are
like the music
relaxing the mind and enhancing the lively, poetic scenery.
The Avalokitesvara Boddhisattva garden sits below the Sanctuary
the left; its lovely
garden is a harmonious mixture of rocks, water, trees,
and flowering plants.
The Master's pure heart and
unbounded compassion toward all sentient beings have galvanized the
collaborate with the Nuns to further improve and support
Zen Monastery has become a haven not only for Vietnamese
Buddhists, but for all people who would like to practice
under the guidance of the Master Thich Thanh Tu.
5251 Rendon Road
Fort Worth, TX 76140
Tel: (817) 483-8670