1. Where do we park?
For the closest places you can actually park, please reference the temple's website: FGSHawaii.org
under Contact Us/Hours (聯絡我們), please reference the "Where to Park (停車位)" section (sorry, this is the problem with being downtown). Of course, people often drop someone off and circle around a couple of times... but most of all we encourage public transportation - any bus that runs through downtown will have a stop somewhere nearby.
2. Why do you have a funny name?
A BOWL OF PICKLED VEGETABLES - The story about Fo Guang Shan Water Drop Teahouse
A Bowl of Pickled Vegetables
A Portion of Compassion
A Drop of Water A Portion of Gratitude
Venerable Master Hsing Yun, founder of Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Order, became a monastic at the age of 12. When he was 17 years old, he became gravely ill and was unable to have any food for two months. His teacher, Venerable Master Chi Kai specially arranged for a bowl of pickled vegetables to be delivered to him. During a time of extreme commodity scarcity, this was a very rare and precious gift. With every mouthful of this gift, Venerable Master Hsing Yun was acutely appreciative of his teacher's love and concern and vowed his life to Buddhism to repay his teacher's benevolence.
A small bowl of pickled vegetables has accomplished many causes and conditions. Just like a small droplet of water, it has nurtured countless of lives. Fo Guang Shan Water Drop Teahouse are set up around the world to manifest Venerable Master Hsing Yun's ideal of "compensating droplets of kindness with springs of gratitude". The tranquil atmospheres evoke a sense of spiritual generosity and purity.
At Fo Guang Shan Hawaii Water Drop Vegetarian House, the surrounding Buddhas & art of the temple add to a sense of calmness. The cafe's modern-style furniture symbolises adaptation and evolution. When sunlight comes in and the windows cast long shadows, the atmosphere becomes ideal for reading a book while sampling delicious and healthy vegetarian foods.
3. What's the difference between vegetarian and vegan?
Vegetarian generally means no meat, or an even simpler veg lifestyle simply entails no killing of animals. For example, although eggs are obviously not vegetables, since most eggs are not fertilized, eating them isn't necessarily considered breaking the precept of not killing. As a Taiwanese temple, we fall under the Mahayana school of Buddhism, which considers a vegetarian diet to be an important part of keeping the precept of not killing, so we do our best to pick our food accordingly. Vegan, on the other hand, means no animal products whatsoever, including milk and honey. This is understandable in this day and age, because unfortunately it's hard to know what really went behind getting your food. For example, if a company is worried more about immediate profit than sustainability, and you buy honey from them that the bees were depending on for food in the winter, a lot of bees will starve as a result. Although we do use honey (and encourage people to buy organic), given the inherent uncertainty of how animal products are obtained, we respect the vegans' decision to simply avoid animal products altogether.
Given that our fresh food is an ever-changing menu, we encourage everyone to always ask about their dietary concerns. All ingredients are available upon request.