I'm a freelance writer based in Perth, Western Australia, who enjoys writing about the things I love: travel, nature-based activities, the arts, spirituality and creative, fun activities for children.
Published March 27th 2014
Celebrating Ancient Spiritual Tradition In A Modern World
One of the world's great spiritual traditions, Buddhism is practised by a staggering 350 million people around the globe. Originating in India and faithfully followed for thousands of years throughout Asia, over recent decades it has also been gaining a substantial number of followers in the Western world, attracted by its precepts of non-violence, compassion, charity and tolerance - qualities which Lord Buddha himself embodied perfectly. Perth is no exception to this trend and several flourishing Buddhist communities exist here which practice various traditions, sometimes catering mainly to a specific cultural group but always welcoming visitors and well-wishers, whoever they may be.
This image is by Fg2, Wikimedia Commons
Following is a list of some of Perth's Buddhist temples. Whether you are a committed Buddhist, a spiritual seeker or simply curious, these temples are beautiful tranquil oases where you can leave behind the cares of worldly life and contemplate the deeper mysteries of existence. While some are traditional places of worship, others offer introductory programs for the curious, classes in Buddhist meditation, yoga and other subjects, and even Buddhist retreats that guests can attend to deepen their own spiritual journey.
A beautiful deity of Lord Buddha
By no means is this list complete, so if you know of other Buddhist temples or centres in Perth, or regional Western Australia, that you'd like to include, please feel free to add their names and some information, along with a link to their website in the comments box.
Dhammaloka Buddhist Centre The Dhammaloka Buddhist Centre, run by the Buddhist Society of Western Australia, is located at 18 - 20 Nanson Way in Nollamara. Throughout the week the centre is open for a variety of functions and events which are suitable for everyone from committed Buddhists, to casual meditators and spiritual seekers. The office is open for enquiries, visitors, library readings and sales on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 10am until 3pm while the library is also open on Fridays (6pm - 7.30pm and 9pm - 9.30pm) and Saturdays (2pm - 3pm and 4.15 - 5pm). Mondays, from 12 noon until 3pm are Open Days for the inquisitive, and friendly volunteers are always on-hand to answer any questions you may have. Other programs held at the centre include a meditation class and a class especially for children. For more information about what's happening, take a look at this webpage.
Also affiliated with the Buddhist Society of Western Australia, Bodhinyana Forest Monastery in Serpentine is home to a community of committed monks while the Dhammasara Nun's Monastery at Gidgegannup in the Perth Hills caters to a small group of female ascetics. Both monasteries provide short-term accommodation where guests can retreat from their worldly lives and focus on their spiritual development in the company of serious practitioners. Take a look at their websites for more information, including their addresses and contact details.
Finally, Jhana Grove, also affiliated with the Buddhist Society of Western Australia, is a purpose-built meditation centre that caters for up to sixty guests at a time. It's also located at Serpentine (283 Kingsbury Drive) and consists of ten individual cottages, surrounded by beautiful and tranquil natural bushland. Jhana Grove hosts a variety of retreats throughout the year ranging from formal retreats for those new to meditation to those that are self-guided for the more experienced. To learn more take a look at this website or give them a call on 08 9525 3314.
Fo Guang Shan Temple (Buddha's Light International Association) Situated on busy Guildford Road in Maylands, the large Fo Guang Shan Temple is a local landmark due to its beautiful traditional architecture and gilt ornamentation. Affiliated with the Buddha's Light International Association, it's a lovely place to pop in and pay a visit, whether you're a practising Buddhist or simply a curious local. Founded and established in 1991 by Grand Master Hsing Yun, the Western Australian chapter of Buddha's Light Association is one of 180 groups throughout the world. As its website declares, the association's mission is pure and simple: 'To benefit all beings and relieve their sufferings with the compassionate teachings of the Buddha, bringing loving kindness to all.'
Fo Guang Shan Temple in Maylands
Buddha's Light International Association is very active within the wider Perth community and are the organisers of the hugely popular Buddha's Birthday and Multicultural Festival: a colourful, vibrant celebration of Buddhist culture featuring traditional ceremonies, music, dance and art that attracts tens of thousands of visitors each year. In addition, every March on Harmony Day, the temple holds a multicultural dance and music celebration, while their Love and Care group are actively involved in a variety of charitable projects, both in Perth and further afield.
Fo Guang Shan Temple is situated at 280 Guildford Road, Maylands, and is open Tuesday to Sunday, from 9.00am until 5.00pm. Just four kilometres from Perth City, its easily accessible by public transport. To learn more, take a look at their website or phone them on (08) 9371 0048.
Hayagriva Buddhist Centre A Tibetan Buddhist centre of the Gelug tradition, the Hayagriva Buddhist Centre was established in 1988 as a branch of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition. The Tibetan Gelug tradition was founded in the fifteenth century by Je Tsongkhapa, a great scholar and yogi, and presented by the founder of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition, Lama Thubten Yeshe and its spiritual director, Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche. Currently the Venerable Thubten Dondrub is the centre's resident teacher, and conducts various classes for followers and the general public.
Hayagriva Buddhist Centre in Kensington
Throughout the week the Hayagriva Buddhist Centre conducts a variety of programs ranging from spiritual classes for committed Buddhists or those who genuinely want to learn more to pujas, guided meditation groups and other special ceremonies such as marriages, ceremonies and baby naming ceremonies. They also hold regular retreats and meditation intensives throughout the year, as well as various kinds of spiritual support, community support, animal liberation and The Wheel of Life, a hospice group offering support to people with terminal illnesses and their families.
The prayer hall
If you're simply curious or want to spend some time in private prayer or meditation, the centre is open from Monday to Saturday from 10am until 2pm. The centre's library and shop are also open at this time, and the friendly volunteers are always happy to have a chat, if you have any questions.
The Hayagriva Buddhist Centre is situated at 64 Banksia Terrace in Kensington, and their phone number is 08 9367 4817. To find out more check out their website or email them on email@example.com.
Buddhist Cultural Centre of Western Australia
The Pho Quang Pagoda, also known as the Buddhist Cultural Centre of Western Australia, is a lovely tranquil temple situated approximately eighteen kilometres north of Perth City, at Marangaroo. It's open to visitors seven days a week, from 8.30am until 5.00pm, while special public programs are often held on Sundays, and well as children's classes. From 5.30pm until around 9.00pm, on Friday and Saturday nights, the temple also hosts a vegetarian restaurant.
The address of Pho Quang Pagoda is 19 Bradford Place, Marrangaroo. For more information, phone them on (08) 9343 3230 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tibetan Buddhist Society The Tibetan Buddhist Society is another large community of Buddhist followers, and they're based at a beautiful Tibetan-style temple in the Swan Valley at 274 Campersic Road, Herne Hill. Surrounded by natural bushland, an outstanding feature of this temple, that guests often comment about, is its peaceful yet friendly atmosphere.
Founded way back in 1981 by the revered teacher Geshe Acharya Thubten Loden, over the years the Tibetan Buddhist Society has evolved into a flourishing centre of Buddhist practice and learning that holds several classes each week, introductory courses and seminars. A special program for children, Dharmakids, which is mainly suitable for children four to nine years old, is also held regularly. Although this age range is specified, according to the temple's website, if younger or older children show an interest in attending, they're also more than welcome. If a visit of a few hours isn't enough for you and you're hankering to absorb yourself more deeply, a couple of retreats are also organised by the Society each year. Alternatively, if you'd simply like to take a closer look at this beautiful traditional temple, guided tours (including light refreshments) can also be arranged for $10.00 per person. For more information about all these options take a look at the Tibetan Buddhist Society website.
Another spot that you may want to pop into during a visit to this temple is its well-appointed book-shop. Whether you're a committed Buddhist or simply want to find a unique gift for someone special, this little shop stocks a wide variety of items including a comprehensive selection of books on Buddhism, prayer beads, meditation products (such as prayer mats), Himalayan singing bowls, music and incense. Gift vouchers are also available.
As this temple operates with just a small team of volunteers, drop-in visitors aren't encouraged, except on Sundays afternoons from 3.00pm until 4.00pm, prior to class during teaching terms. For more information about the Tibetan Buddhist Society or to organise a visit, phone them on 08 9296 0086 or email email@example.com.
Vietnamese Buddhist Temple
Although I've been intrigued by this temple for years it was only fairly recently that I managed to pop in and pay a visit. Situated in a quiet back-street in Northbridge just a short distance from all the action in William Street, this temple, with its small shrine dedicated to Lord Buddha in the front courtyard, is an oasis of tranquillity and spirituality in the noisiest, naughtiest part of Perth. Due to its rather modest street frontage I'd always assumed it was small in size so it came as a big surprise to discover, upon entering the building, a prayer hall that is quite large and spacious. While the temple serves a predominantly Vietnamese congregation worship, everyone is warmly welcomed, as I discovered when I finally summoned the courage to take a closer look.
This little Vietnamese Buddhist temple in Northbridge is an oasis of spiritual tranquility
This beautiful temple is located at 45 Money Street, Northbridge and its phone number is 08 9227 9331. To find out more about what programs are held here, give them a call.
Sri Lankan Buddhist Vihara
Another lovely but little-known Buddhist temple here in Perth is the Sri Lankan Buddhist Vihara, which serves the spiritual needs of Perth's Sri Lankan Buddhist community, and is open to anyone who wants to learn more about Buddhist teachings and meditation. It's a bustling community centre and throughout the week a variety of events are held here, including a Dhamma School for the children. For a full list of what's on, take a look at their website.
The Sri Lankan Buddhist Vihara is situated at 78 Austin Ave, Kenwick. Its phone number is 08 9493 0040. or you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.