Sitagu Buddha Vihara

9001 Honeycomb Dr, Austin, TX 78737


Buddhist retreat with a very nice pagoda and free library

There are a few Buddhist temples in Austin, but this seems to be the most popular.  Visitors are welcome even if they do not practice Buddhism.  The pagoda is beautiful, but my favorite part is the library. I was surprised by the amount of free literature that you are allowed to take with you. I went in the middle of the day when no classes or meals were happening, so it was pretty quiet, but a monk came out and also gave me a couple books since I said I was interested in the literature.

That all being said, guided meditations and classes are offered. You can find the schedule on their website. Proper etiquette is posted throughout the area, but the basis is: don't touch the monks. Instead greet them by placing both hands together in front of your chest. Also, take off your shoes before entering the buildings and leave them on the steps.

You can visit this temple if you are simply interested in the culture. However, there are many resources in Austin if you want to start practicing Buddhism:

  • Fo Guang Shan Xiang Yun Temple - Many classes are offered and join others for morning tea every Tuesday.

  • Diamond Way Buddhist Meditation Center - free classes and meditation twice a week. They typically last about an hour. Starts with someone giving a talk about an important Buddhist topic, followed by guided meditation, ending with a group chant. Afterwards, people generally hang out and chat.

  • Kadampa Meditation Center - This one you actually have to pay for. Although I'm interested, I've never been here, so I can't give a personal review.

  • SGI-USA - Has a focus on chanting and Nichiren Buddhism.

  • Literally 1/3 of your uber drivers.