We have started a new English Sangha at Lien Hoa Buddhist Temple. Please join us every Sunday from 2:00 – 3:30 pm for meditation, dharma talk, and community.

Mindfulness classes are led by Zen master Thay Thien, the abbot of the Lien Hoa Buddhist Temple.


When you visit the Lien Hoa Buddhist Temple, you will likely be greeted with an enthusiastic welcome and a cheerful smile from Venerable Thich Chuc Thien, the temple’s Abbot. The Venerable is often affectionately referred to as “Thay” by his followers. A Vietnamese word, “Thầy” means “teacher.”

Venerable Thich Chuc Thien

Thay Thien was born in the central coast of Vietnam in the ancient and beautiful province of Quang Nam. At the age of 9, he committed to the monastic life of a novice Buddhist monk and moved into Phu Son Temple. During these early years of life, he would wake at 3:30 am to the sound of the temple bell and begin each day with morning meditation and studies, all while attending public school. At first, his parents were concerned that he was too young to make this decision but soon conceded that it was his heart’s desire and gave their permission for him to become a novice monk. His parents and siblings visited him often at the temple which quickly became his home and a place he dearly loved.

At 20 years old Thay became a Bhikkhu, a fully ordained Buddhist Monk. With this advancement came a move to Taiwan where he studied for 4 years at the University to obtain his Master’s Degree in Mahayana Buddhism. Two important teachers that have greatly influenced Thay are the Venerable Master Chin Kung and Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh due to their tireless devotion to Buddhist education and peace.

Now a Buddhist Master, it was time for Thay to move to the United States and begin building Sangha and community. He spent time in Las Vegas, Nevada and in Biloxi, Mississippi before finding the connection he was looking for with the people of San Antonio, Texas. A true citizen of the world, Thay has visited over 40 countries and speaks 3 languages including Vietnamese, Mandarin Chinese, and English. He is quick to remind that he is a simple monk and that the practice and the way of Buddhism means all who practice are of the same heart and spirit.

When asked what makes him truly happy, he replies that gazing upon the face of the Buddha brings him deep joy and peace. When asked for a life tip that would help his English Sangha be happier humans, he says “It is very important that we live in kindness and live in the moment. Good thoughts, good words and good actions. You do these things and you bring happiness to yourself, to your family, to society…to everyone in the world.” Sharing the Buddha’s teachings and helping others become more mindful in daily life is an offering that Master Thay gives to all who visit the Lien Hoa Temple; a beautiful oasis of peace deep in the heart of Texas.



August 12, 2023.

Please join us for the following upcoming retreat and events.


November 8, 2022.

Dear friends,

In just a few days, our English Sangha will come together for the Mindfulness Retreat with the theme “Peace Begins from Within.” As we live in a highly-developed society that provides us freedom and many opportunities for advancement, such fast-paced lifestyle also brings about instability and imbalance to one’s emotional and physical health. This key realization has led the Abbot Venerable “Thầy” Thich Chuc Thien to create an ideal environment for people to come together to share life experiences, exchange mutual practices, and explore ways to live a happier life at Lien Hoa Buddhist Temple.

We look forward to share with you a program that allows participants to re-energize, refocus, and appreciate the present moment. Please open your hearts and be present in each moment, so that together, we can practice Mindfulness and to truly embrace life with a peaceful mind.


Together, at the Mindfulness Retreat, we shall interact and learn to…

  • Practice mindfulness in all of our activities.
  • Enrich our connections with nature and each other; enjoy the beauty of nature and of genuine friendship.
  • Demonstrate team spirit in our efforts to build a Community of individuals with shared responsibilities.


1) What is the dress code for the retreat?

Casual, comfortable, and appropriate (as we will be practicing alongside the monastic sangha). Loose-fitting, non-binding pants and tops are best. Avoid tank tops, skirts/dresses, and any clothing items that are tight, revealing or too short. If shorts are preferred, then we recommend knee-length shorts.

2) What do I need to bring to the retreat?

The following is a list of suggested items to pack for your retreat:

Other Clothing Items:

  • Comfortable shoes
  • Flip-flops to wear inside the rooms

Hygiene Necessities & Toiletries:

  • Toothbrush & paste
  • Comb or Brush
  • Towel
  • Shampoo/Conditioner

Miscellaneous Items:

  • Water Bottles
  • Personal medications
  • Yoga mat (if you plan to participate in the morning yoga session)
  • A journal or a book to read (optional for individual activity). You can also check out our library that offers a good selection of books on Buddhism.

3) Is there internet connectivity at the retreat?

There is a designated area for internet connectivity. We encourage attendees to take the opportunity to fully live in the presence moment and embrace the experience wholeheartedly. We ask that you reserve using your electronic devices for emergencies only so that you can fully benefit from the retreat.

4) What kind of sleeping accommodations does the retreat offer?

Rooms are shared to encourage community living and mutual support in our practice. Lien Hoa’s guesthouse building was built in 2020, so the accommodations are new, spacious, and comfortable. The rooms are fully equipped with beds and bedding amenities (linens, pillows, and blankets). In ensuring everyone is comfortably accommodated, three people are assigned per room. Participants will receive their assigned rooms at check-in.

5) Who do I tell about my dietary requirements for meals?

All of our meals will be vegetarian. If you have any dietary requirement, please communicate this to the organizing team in advance.

6) I have a medical condition / I am on medication. Do I need to tell someone about this?

If you have a medical condition or are on medication that may be affected by this event and would like us to know. There is no obligation to do this, but it will help us be prepared for any special requirements you may have during the retreat.

7) How much does the retreat cost? How can I contribute?

“Thầy” Thien wanted to ensure that everyone is able to participate in the retreat without the burden of cost. Thus, there is no set fee for the retreat. Participants can donate to give back to the temple so we can continue to fulfill our mission of sharing the wisdom and compassion of the Buddhist Teachings.

8) How can I contact you for more information?

Call or text us:

Rhea: 347-610-0633
Thanh Thao (Augustine): 210-620-0074


October 17, 2022.

Our first Mindfulness Retreat in English will be on November 11 – 13 2022. This retreat is open to the public and it’s free. Please contact Trina Johansen to register. The registration deadline is October 22, 2022.


January 17, 2022.

This year, our annual Lunar New Year Festival will be held on Sunday Jan. 30, 2022 from 11:00 am – 5:00 pm. This event is open to the public and it’s free.

Photos courtesy of Natalia Sun.