Thursday, April 26, 2012

Chua Linh Son, Santa Fe, Texas

UPDATE to the post below:  August 7, 2012 and July 5, 2013:  Chua Linh Son announced the launching of their website, which can be accessed at (but was subsequently found to be unavailable).  I'm keeping this original blog post intact because of its relative Google ranking.  Check the Chua Linh Son category label to the right for future posts about their programs.


For the time being, I will use this blog post as a general information site for this Temple, because I have not yet found a website for it in either English or Vietnamese.  If anyone knows of a homepage or other Temple-sanctioned or Sangha-sanctioned representation in either language, please email me at so that I can update accordingly. 

Linh Son Temple, or Linh Son Pagoda as it seems to be alternatively known, was brought to my attention last night by another English-speaking Sangha member who described her attempts to visit it.  I'm not sure how she first heard of it, but she made two different trips hoping to hear a Dharma talk delivered in English, and on neither visit was she successful.

This kind of experience is unfortunately common in our area (a similar thing happened to me also at a different local temple; more on that later) and, once again, is the kind of result I hope to rectify via the sharing of information in this blog.

Even the act of finding Linh Son in a geographical sense is a challenge; I only managed to do it by zeroing in based on descriptions provided by other bloggers and Flickr users.
This is how Google plots its internet-reported address of 1334 FM 646 (Google can't make up its mind whether the address is in Dickinson or Santa Fe).  Nothing but residential subdivisions in this area.
I figured I could cruise through some aerial photos, sorting through the jumble of ranchettes, light industrial warehouses, miscellaneous subdivisions and trailer parks that characterize this area, and zero in on it by searching for evidence of a 50-foot reclining Buddha statue.  At that size, he'd be bigger than any ranchette's back-yard swimming pool and should therefore be visually obvious...

Wow!  The place is actually HUGE!
Going by the general description "on Hwy 646 between FM 1764 and FM 517", this becomes easy to find.  It's geographical coordinates are as follows:
29.4214, -95.0923
Bloggers "Livin' to Drive" produced this wonderful, lighthearted blog post that describes their encounter with Chua Linh Son.  In conjunction with that, they published this selection of their photos of the Temple grounds. 
Downsampled screengrab from the compilation at!i=1192449945&k=UYoMK
Linh Son is actually listed in Wikipedia's tabulation of the world's tallest statues, albeit with no more information than I myself could locate!
Question mark?  Question mark?
Screengrab from
The inauguration of this Temple was actually written up in this feature piece on The Buddhist Channel, which apparently piggybacked off a Galveston County Daily News article that no longer seems to be available online. 

And guess what else??  There is (or at least there was, as of 2008), an English Sangha group there.  I know this because, despite not having found a homepage or other official representation, I found (drumroll, please!) some of their Dharma talks uploaded to YouTube.  

So thank you, T., for bringing Chua Linh Son to my attention.  Here, better late than never, is one of the Dharma talks you had been seeking (and there's a whole series of them on YouTube).  This is an interesting one because the Venerable is responding to a question from an English Sangha member about how to deal with Christians who are opposed to his study of Buddhism.


  1. UPDATE TO THIS POST: Actually this is just a rumor I haven't been able to confirm or deny, but I heard that the English-speaking Venerable who had been responsible for attracting an English Sangha to Chua Linh Son had been injured in an automobile accident at some point within the past couple of years. Following that event, it was further rumored that the Venerable either has (or had) a "job offer" (or its monastic equivalent) at another Temple location elsewhere in America. If you were a member of this English Sangha, I'd love to know what became of your group. I have not been able to track the author of the YouTube segment embedded above, nor have I had an opportunity to visit this Temple yet. Thanks!!

  2. Another update to this post... there now appears a website for an establishment with this same name, but it's located on the far west side of Houston, and as of today, the content is exclusively in Vietnamese.