San Bao Temple has been located at the east of Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco since 1989. There is a bookstore in the front and a Shrine on the back of the building. The American Buddhist Cultural Society, a nonprofit organization, is the chartered name for the temple. The organization's headquarters is in Taiwan, named Fo Guang Shan.
In 1967, Venerable Master Hsing Yun, the founder, established the Fo Guang Shan (Buddha's Light Mountain) Buddhist Order, which is the largest monastery in Taiwan, encompassing over 600 acres. Fo Guang Shan is a Mahayana Chinese Buddhism monastic order. Mahayana in China has separated to 8 different schools: Tian-tai, Pure Land, Ch'an, Hua-yen (Avatamsaka), Fa-Shiang (Yogacaran), Sanlun (Madhyamikan), Dhyana, and Esoteric (Tantra). Fo Guang Shan belongs to Lin-Chi Ch'an School. For the past 30 years, the Master has been instrumental in expanding religious freedom throughout Asia. The Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Order, through a Humanistic Buddhist orientation, works to unite all Buddhist schools and sects; it also fosters and promotes inter-religious dialogue among all spiritual traditions through symposia, conferences and services. The objectives of the Order are to provide confidence, joy, hope and convenience to people. The Order has also established more than 200 temples worldwide. More than 1,300 monks and nuns serve in the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Order.
San Bao Temple was established to serve as a spiritual, educational and cultural center for those interested in learning more about Buddhism and the Chinese culture. It is the idea of Venerable Master Hsing Yun to propagate "Humanistic Buddhism" and to create a Pure Land here on earth. San Bao Temple is planning to rebuild to fulfill these goals in our local community. The temple's objectives are to nurture Buddhist missionaries through education, to propagate Buddhism through cultural activities, to benefit society through charitable programs, and to edify the populace through Buddhist practices.
Our founder, Venerable Master Hsing Yun is recognized world-wide for his dedication in promoting Humanistic Buddhism which embraces all traditions and schools and stresses pitch salient teachings of the Buddha, which are relevant to and essential for the well being and progress of humanity in modern times. San Bao Temple is committed to serving as a bridge between East and West so that the Buddha's teachings of kindness, compassion, joyfulness, and equanimity might be integrated into people’s daily lives and of those around us to the benefit of all and that we might learn the ways to cultivate the wisdom to clearly understand the true nature of all things.