Guang Ming Temple will Be the Largest One in Central Florida
07-24-2018    Orlando Sentinel Communications
<DIV align=center><STRONG><BR><SPAN lang=EN-US>Guang Ming congregation member Bill Eng pitches in on construction of a 3-story temple going up on <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /><st1:Street w:st="on"><st1:address w:st="on">Hoffner Avenue</st1:address></st1:Street> in <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Orlando</st1:place></st1:City>.</SPAN></STRONG></DIV>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt" align=center><SPAN lang=EN-US><?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p><STRONG>&nbsp;<BR></STRONG></o:p></SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt" align=center><SPAN lang=EN-US><STRONG>Among the touches of the new <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Guang</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Ming</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Temple</st1:PlaceType></st1:place> will be figures adorning the saffron-colored roof to "protect" the temple, a garden and 2 $35,000 chandeliers.</STRONG></SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt" align=center><SPAN lang=EN-US><o:p><STRONG>&nbsp;<BR></STRONG></o:p></SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt" align=center><SPAN lang=EN-US><STRONG>Eddie Yen talks on the phone in the mausoleum of <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Guang</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Ming</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Temple</st1:PlaceType></st1:place> on <st1:Street w:st="on"><st1:address w:st="on">Hoffner Avenue</st1:address></st1:Street>. The temple will open in February.</STRONG></SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt" align=center><SPAN lang=EN-US><o:p><STRONG>&nbsp;<BR></STRONG></o:p></SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt" align=center><SPAN lang=EN-US><STRONG>The meditation room with a statue of Buddha will be the central focus of worship at the <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Guang</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Ming</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Temple</st1:PlaceType></st1:place>.</STRONG></SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt" align=center><SPAN lang=EN-US><STRONG>(GEORGE SKENE, <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">ORLANDO</st1:place></st1:City> SENTINEL)</STRONG></SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt" align=center><SPAN lang=EN-US><STRONG>Nov 15, 2006</STRONG></SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>Babita Persaud (Sentinel Staff Writer), <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Orlando</st1:City></st1:place> Sentinel Communications, December 5, 2006</SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><st1:City w:st="on"><SPAN lang=EN-US>Orlando</SPAN></st1:City><SPAN lang=EN-US>, <st1:State w:st="on">Florida</st1:State>, <st1:country-region w:st="on">USA</st1:country-region> -- It's <st1:chmetcnv w:st="on" TCSC="0" NumberType="1" Negative="False" HasSpace="True" SourceValue="10" UnitName="a">10 a</st1:chmetcnv>.m. on a weekday, and members of the <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Guang</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Ming</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Temple</st1:PlaceType></st1:place> congregation are picking up trash. One person sweeps. Another wipes dust from ceramic tiles.</SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>It still may be a construction site -- walls need painting, shrubs need planting -- but members are as eager as new homeowners to show it off.</SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>"It's a joy," said Lana O'Neill, wearing thick gloves and smiling.</SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>For years, the Buddhist organization worshipped in a beige warehouse near Florida Mall. Before that, the sanctuary was a 3,000-square-foot house in <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Kissimmee</st1:place></st1:City>.</SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>"We have been mobile so many times," said Sue Lee Lin, vice president of the local Buddha's Light International Association.</SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>But early next year, they will have a permanent home resembling temples in <st1:country-region w:st="on">China</st1:country-region> and <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Taiwan</st1:place></st1:country-region>, homelands of many in the congregation.</SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>The nearly $5 million <st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Guang</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Ming</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Temple</st1:PlaceType> will be the largest Chinese Buddhist temple in <st1:place w:st="on">Central Florida</st1:place>.</SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>The temple at <st1:Street w:st="on"><st1:address w:st="on">6555 Hoffner Ave.</st1:address></st1:Street> rises three stories and spans 30,000 square feet. The saffron-colored roof has corners that sweep toward the sky like "a big eagle in flight," said Eddie Yeh, president of the local Buddha's Light association. "We want it as authentic as possible."</SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>A long concrete path -- called the Pathway to Buddha -- leads to the temple's heavy wood doors.</SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>Downstairs is a vast meditation hall. A Buddha statue weighing a ton and valued at about $50,000 sits on the altar, still wrapped in plastic. Imported from <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Burma</st1:place></st1:country-region> and carved from white marble, the sitting Buddha was hauled into the meditation hall in two pieces, missing the door frame by a half-inch, Yeh said.</SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><SPAN lang=EN-US>Masterful touches<o:p></o:p></SPAN></B></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>Two chandeliers, each valued at about $35,000 and shaped like lotus blossoms, will dangle from the room's canopy. They will be installed in January.</SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>Upstairs is the "Zen Room" for meditation and a library filled with volumes of Buddhist scriptures -- sutras.</SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>The temple has a tearoom, kitchen, offices, classrooms, multipurpose rooms for summer camps and dormitories for visiting monks.</SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>The temple also will be wired, allowing video to be broadcast to overflow crowds during festivals, such as Buddha's Birthday in May.</SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>Outside, an octagonal walkway surrounds a garden and leads to the mausoleum, where nearly 4,000 marble tiles cover the walls.</SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>The project is a local and international effort.</SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>Yeh, who runs a distribution company that supplies about 400 Asian restaurants in <st1:place w:st="on">Central Florida</st1:place>, donated the 5 acres. The building was designed and built by Francis Lizardo's <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Casselberry</st1:place></st1:City> firm, which typically works on churches and office buildings.</SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>"I did a lot of research," said Lizardo, who has been in the business 26 years.</SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>Most of the exterior is finished. Inside fixtures and painting will be completed in the coming weeks, Lizardo said.</SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>The temple will rank among <st1:City w:st="on">Orlando</st1:City>'s largest religious centers, including the <st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Hindu</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Temple</st1:PlaceType> in <st1:City w:st="on">Casselberry</st1:City>, which sits on 10 acres, and the Wat Florida Dhammaram in <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Kissimmee</st1:place></st1:City>, a 2-acre campus that houses nearly 10 buildings and shrines.</SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>For the Guang Ming, which means "bright light" in Mandarin, $1 million was raised locally.</SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>Another $3 million to $4 million comes from an interest-free loan through the International Buddhist Progress Society in <st1:country-region w:st="on">Taiwan</st1:country-region>, the umbrella organization that runs the <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Orlando</st1:place></st1:City> temple.</SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>The organization, which has helped establish 250 temples worldwide, was founded by Venerable Master Hsing Yun, who left <st1:country-region w:st="on">China</st1:country-region> for <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Taiwan</st1:place></st1:country-region> in 1949 during the Chinese civil war. In 1967, he established the Fo Guang Shan (Buddha's <st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Light</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Mountain</st1:PlaceType>) monastery, the largest religious organization in <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Taiwan</st1:place></st1:country-region>.</SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><B style="mso-bidi-font-weight: normal"><SPAN lang=EN-US>Making do for now<o:p></o:p></SPAN></B></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>In 1992 Yun, now 79, founded the Buddha's Light International Association, which has more than 1 million members worldwide. He visited <st1:place w:st="on">Central Florida</st1:place> in the summer and led the congregation in prayer.</SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>For now, the local congregation worships in the upstairs offices of Kim Lai Shing Market, Yeh's company.</SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>A wooden shoe rack sits under the stairs. Paper lanterns and bamboo blinds attempt to camouflage an office atmosphere of track lighting, folding chairs and tables.</SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>Members are mostly immigrants from <st1:country-region w:st="on">Taiwan</st1:country-region>, <st1:country-region w:st="on">China</st1:country-region> and <st1:place w:st="on">Hong Kong</st1:place>. Some drive hours for Sunday morning services.</SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>"We pray for the temple," said Vicky Lu of <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Melbourne</st1:place></st1:City>. "Our dreams come true."</SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>After the service, small children met for a computer class, and teens gathered for discussions. They wore jeans and T-shirts. Some brought their American friends. One did her algebra homework.</SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>They also learned about the different forms of Buddha: Medicine Buddha, Buddha of a thousand hands.</SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>"Buddhism teaches you how to deal with life," said Lillian Wu, a youth leader.</SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>The new temple is being built for the youth, said Yeh, who has seven children, all but one born in the <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">U.S.</st1:place></st1:country-region></SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></SPAN></P>

<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt"><SPAN lang=EN-US>"Step by step, you have to connect with the new generation," he said.</SPAN></P>
Editor: Wang Xinyu
   
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