About Our Tradition
The tradition taught at Orange County Buddhist Church is Jōdo Shinshū, the “true essence of the Pure Land,” often called Shin Buddhism. This way of understanding originated 800 years ago in Japan through the life experience of Shinran. For twenty years he performed austere practices as a Buddhist monk. Eventually he concluded that relying on his own abilities was not a path for transcending the ego. Turning away from the institutional Buddhism of his day, Shinran embarked on the Jōdo Shinshū path. It is a non-monastic life of deep reflection on human frailty, a life in which the Buddha’s Wisdom and Compassion can bring about awakening in the midst of everyday difficulties.
Jōdo Shinshū is today the most widespread form of Buddhism in Japan. It is represented by ten sects, the largest of which are Nishi Hongwanji and Higashi Honganji. Shinran’s tradition came to Hawaii and North America in the late 19th century and was sustained initially by Japanese immigrant families. From these roots, it has evolved into a Buddhist community with a diverse membership, supporting more than 100 temples in the United States and Canada. Most of the mainland U.S. temples are organized collectively as the Buddhist Churches of America.
OCBC was established in the 1930s and moved to its present Anaheim location in 1964. The Sangha includes 900 sustaining members and many others who regularly participate in temple activities. We hold weekly services on Sunday and Wednesday, as well as funerals and memorials at other times.
The temple is a family-oriented center of Shin Buddhist life, committed to the inclusion of everyone regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, age, disability, sexual orientation or expression, or national origin. We welcome all who wish to become a part of the OCBC Sangha in following the path of Shinran.