Description of Organization
The temple began services in 2011 when the Venerable Deok Wun completed his final training and ordination as a Bhikkhu in Korea. He returned to Grand Rapids, his home town, to establish the temple. It opened in a small 800-square foot storefront that could accommodate 20 people. Over the next three years the temple remained in the storefront and as the Sangha grew. The temple launched four specific avenues of involvement.
The first was to create and maintain a Buddhist based addiction recovery program. The program began when a psychologist member of the Sangha volunteered to create such an addiction recovery program. As a recovering addict himself (26 years sober) he was well experienced to undertake this program. The program began meeting once a week that initially drew 6-10 people. The program now operates four times a week in four different locations and serves over 100 people a week.
They then partnered with Gilda’s to prepare and serve one dinner a month to the children being treated for cancer and their families as well as preparing and packing over 4000 meals a month for at risk children.
The third avenue consisted of them reaching out to local middle and high schools to offer speakers and materials to world religion courses. Grand Rapids Buddhist Temple and Zen Center now has on-going commitments with six school districts, active Sunday school for children 12 and under, and the clergy staff has been increased to five. Their Sangha has grown from the initial group to a current Sunday average service attendance of 108.
And the fourth avenue is they offer a full range of classes, retreats, and special events September to May.
In 2018, a grant in the amount of $5,000 was awarded to provide operating expenses for the Addiction Recovery Program to meet the needs of the community.