Located on East Bay State Street, Guan Yin Citta is a Buddhist temple that provides Alhambra residents with a space to socialize and seek spiritual guidance for problems in their daily lives. Open every day of the week, Guan Yin Citta offers the public free meditative and counseling services, in addition to its tri-weekly Buddhist service. Those who choose to attend a service, which occur every Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday at 2 pm, receive a complimentary meal made by the temple’s volunteers.
“Everyone is welcome at the temple. People can come here to learn more about Buddhism and share issues they’re having so that they can get a better understanding,” says Liu Zeng Lung, one of the five leaders at Guan Yin Citta Los Angeles.
In its three years, Guan Yin Citta Los Angeles has grown to over 1000 members and has recently attracted more and more English-speaking visitors. In an effort to better serve its various members, the temple has translated its Chinese prayers into several other languages and even has translators available for the visitors who don’t speak Chinese.
Volunteers like Liu first started getting more involved in the temple after realizing how much they benefitted from the services. The volunteers want to share the positive experiences they have had with Buddhism with others by devoting their time into making pamphlets and helping out at the temple.
The temple’s volunteers are committed to finding solutions for the problems that people come to them with, which range from relationship and family issues to business troubles. “If we help members find solutions to small problems in their daily life, then they will be more confident in solving problems in the future,” explains Liu. “We help people find relief through discussion.”
The volunteers at the temple believe that providing guidance to those who seek it, especially those who need assistance for family problems, will help make the entire community more harmonious. This, along with the idea of karma, are key concepts within Buddhism.
“The earlier you get associated with Buddhism, the more luck you will accumulate for yourself,” says Liu. “You shouldn’t wait until you’re old or after your retirement to start practicing Buddhism. It’s best to start now.”