It’s not a mirage, it’s one monks $15 million vision to build a meditation center in the middle of the desert, which includes one of the tallest Buddhist statues in the country.
I attempted to visit Thien Vien Chan Nguyen Buddhist Meditation Center after my trip last month to Faux Iraq but ran out of time. I made time on this trip and was glad I did. As I pulled into the property, I was greeted by Monk Thich Dang “Tom” Phap who was dressed in traditional monk attire (sandals & orange robe w/gold shoulder clasp). He was holding a cat in his arms and had an unleashed pit bull following him by his side. While anyone is free to come visit the site, they don’t like people just showing up without the monks knowledge, which I wasn’t aware of. Fortunately, Monk Tom was extremely friendly and just asked me to ‘like’ the temple on Facebook and I was free to explore.
Sleeping Buddha appeared to be too tired to greet me.
A long concrete walkway lined with Buddhist saints leads to an alter full of offerings for the 24-ft. tall statue of Quan yin.
A fountain near the entrance of the meditation hall.
Sleeping Buddha would love it if you slipped a little cash in that slot.
The 6,000-square-foot meditation hall was closed for renovation but it didn’t look as fancy as some of the other temples I’ve visited recently.
The 80-ton white marble statue of the Buddhist saint, commonly called Quan yin in Chinese. Phap said he searched far and wide for a site on which to place the statue donated by a wealthy businessman in Malaysia. He bought the 15-acre lot in Adelanto in 2004.
All saints lead to Quan yin who many believe possesses healing powers and radiates a white light.
The Sharon Stone of Buddhist Saints.
Put Your Hands Up
Penny Toe Yo
Guardian of Quan yin
I was about to take some close-ups of these lovely beauties but respected Monk Tom enough to not go there.
Praying at the feet of Quan yin.
Fat & Happy / Happy & Fat
Thien Vien Chan Nguyen Buddhist Meditation Center is east of U.S. 395 and about 10 miles northwest of Victorville, CA. Make sure you contact them prior to your arrival.