Texas Buddhist Council Introduction

  1. Texas Buddhist Council Mission Statement
  2. Texas Buddhist Council Fact Sheet
  3. Texas Buddhist Council History
  4. Other Sources for Buddhist Information in Texas



Texas Buddhist Council Mission Statement

The purpose of the Texas Buddhist Council Inc. shall be:

1.        To preserve and nurture the Buddha Dharma (Dhamma) in Texas, realizing and respecting the diversity of Buddhist traditions within the state;

2.        To unify Buddhist practitioners across Texas by increasing communication between temples, study groups, and individuals from various schools and by providing opportunities for mutually beneficial interaction;

3.        To bring the teachings of the Buddha to the mainstream of American life in Texas through education and opportunities for social service;

4.        To serve as a consultant to and advocate for Buddhist temples, study groups, and individuals on matters of cultural, legal, and political concern related to the preservation and promotion of the Buddha Dhamma in Texas;

5.        To provide an open forum and clearinghouse for Buddhist issues and concerns in America and in the state of Texas;

6.        To acquire land and facilities through donations or other meansin order to establish one or more retreat centers to be made available to members and other interested parties and to provide for the maintenance and preservation of those lands and facilities; and

7.        To perform charitable activities within the meanings of Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3) and Texas Tax Code Section 11.18(c)(1).



Texas Buddhist Council Fact Sheet

What:        The Texas Buddhist Council Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation formed in 1992 to serve as a clearinghouse for Buddhist concerns and information in the Lone Star State.

Who:        Members of the Texas Buddhist Council come from a variety of ethnic and spiritual backgrounds. Individual and corporate members represent Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana, the three main schools of Buddhism, as well as representing various sub-sects within these schools.

Why:        The Texas Buddhist Council seeks to preserve and nurture the Dhamma in Texas; to unify Buddhist practitioners through communication and interaction for mutual benefit; and to bring Buddhism to the mainstream of American life through education and opportunities for service.

How:        The Texas Buddhist Council conducts a variety of programs including retreats, educational forums, consulting, a semiannual newsletter, and biannual directory.

When:        The Board of Directors of The Texas Buddhist Council meets quarterly at sites across the state. A general membership meeting is held each Spring.

Where:        Council meetings and activities rotate among temples in the major metropolitan areas of the state with the most activity centering on Dallas and Houston.



Texas Buddhist Council History

Throughout the 1980's, an influx of refugees from Southeast Asia, a growing interest in Eastern religions, and established Oriental communities made it possible for Buddhism to establish itself as an active and vital part of religious life in Texas.

Scores of meditation groups and temples provided a sense of community for Texas Buddhists, and a regular and constant exchange of monks and teachers allowed small local groups to become aware of each other. However, a shared vision among these groups failed to develop, and ethnic, religious, and language barriers combined with a poor economic base to prevent widespread cooperation and planning among the state's Buddhist practitioners.

In the fall of 1991, a delegation of officers from the American Buddhist Congress visited the Houston Buddhist Vihara to encourage leaders in the Buddhist community to form a state-wide association to work for the enrichment of Buddhist life in Texas. The benefits of a united Buddhist community became clear during this initial meeting.

In 1992, led by senior monks that included Rev. Phap Nhan of Lien Hoa Buddhist Temple in Irving, Rev. Hung-I Shih of the Jade Buddha Temple in Houston, Rev. K. Nanda of the Houston Buddhist Vihara, and Rev. Huyen Viet of Buu Mon Temple in Port Arthur, a large group of monks and lay Buddhists from across the state agreed to establish the Texas Buddhist Council as a non-profit corporation.

The Texas Buddhist Council was incorporated in the Spring of 1993, and the group's first Board of Directors was elected in July 1993 in a meeting and celebration at the Houston Buddhist Vihara.



Other sources for Buddhist information in Texas

Texas listings from DharmaNet International

DharmaNet's guide to Centers in the USA

Zen Centers in Houston



Return to Texas Buddhist Council on the Web-site for "Buddhism in Houston".

Last updated: 2/2/98 and provided by John RB Whittlesey.