JURUPA VALLEY: Buddhist Meditation Center welcomes all – Riverside Press Enterprise

Since 1997, the Suddhavasa Buddhist Meditation Center has quietly grown its congregation from a founding group of 20 practitioners of Thai Buddhism to an estimated 2,000 members who flock to the center from as far away as North Hollywood, Glendale and Long Beach.

Presided over by Abbot Phrakhrusrividesdhammakhun with five monks to assist him, the center is located in a residential Glen Avon neighborhood at the foot of the Jurupa Mountains in Jurupa Valley.

Its mission is to foster a peaceful environment for learning, practicing and experiencing the teachings of the Buddha to Inland residents, the Abbot said.

The center hosts a class every Saturday to teach the proper way to meditate, which Buddhists believe is a way to discipline and purify the mind. Regular services are held Sundays.

“We practice the peaceful way,” the Abbot said. “When you do good, you get good. When you do bad, you get bad.”

To accommodate the center’s growth, work has begun on a new worship hall. The 12,000-square-foot, two-story building, which will sit at the rear of the 3.46-acre property, will have a meditation hall, a library and classrooms.

The $ 3.5 million project is expected to be completed in about two years.

The Abbot attributed the center’s growth over the past 14 years to the congregation spreading the word to friends and family members.

That was the case with Corona resident Janpen Schalbe who was on hand for the center’s Dec. 4 celebration of Thai King Rama IX’s 84{+t}{+h} birthday. She has been worshipping at the center for about three years.

“I heard about the temple from a friend,” she said. “The center feels like home. When we come here, we feel like we’re home in Thailand.”

Schalbe said the Abbot welcomes everyone to the center, whether they practice Thai Buddhism or not.

“He’s very easy to talk to,” she said. “He understands people.”

Redlands resident Jay Rogers expressed similar sentiments. Rogers is not a Buddhist but has attended services with his wife Laddawan for the past three years.

“The people here are very accepting. They don’t seem to judge,” Rogers said

Loma Linda city manager T. Jarb Thaipejr has been attending services at the center since 2000 and is overseeing construction of the new facility.

Like several other projects, planning for the new worship center has been impacted by the recent incorporation of Jurupa Valley. Although the project has been approved by Riverside County, building permits will be issued by the city of Jurupa Valley.

Thaipejr said he does not foresee any problems getting those building permits.

The Abbot said the center has co-existed with the surrounding homes for 14 years with no problems or disputes. The center provides ample parking and presses upon its congregation the need to keep the surrounding area clear of cars.

“We have very good neighbors,” he said. “We get along with them and they’ve been very supportive.”

Councilman Brad Hancock, who is responsible for inviting clergy to lead the invocation before City Council meetings, said he extended an invitation to the monks and they responded.

A monk came before council members and led a chant espousing friendship and co-existence.

Hancock also said he did not foresee any problems with the center getting its building permits.

“Why would there be? There’s room for everyone in Jurupa Valley,” he said.

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Meditation to Discover Source ~ 30min Audio Only

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