Sunday, May 24, 2009

An Academic Trip To Crouching Tiger Temple

We scheduled a visit to Fuhu Temple for a couple of my students who were to write a travel journal article about the temple. Ms. Winter and Ms. Lorry were supposed to show up at around 1430 Sunday afternoon but were able to make it a little after 1500 due to class commitments. We had called Yanmao to coordinate the trip so eveything was set.

We took a bus to Emei Mountain, getting off at the little village nearest Fuhu Temple. The temple is another fifteen minute walk up the mountain.

Ms. Lorry, Ms. Winter and Sunee all walk casually up the mountain to the temple. It was a great day to be out and about on the mountain.

Yanmao greets us and invites us in to the meeting room for tea and interviews. Here she introduces the concepts behind being a nun on Emei Mountain ant Fuhu Temple.

Sunee relaxes and listens intently to the lecture on being a nun.

Lorry also listens with interest.

Ms Winter as well.

Both Ms. Winter and Ms. Lorry asked questions and took detailed notes about what Yanmao was telling them.

Here Yanmao shows a book written about the nunneries on Emei Mountain. It is written in both Chinese and English. She was kind enough to loan us the book for a few weeks.

After more than an hour of interviews and getting to know Buddhism from a nun's prospective, Yanmao invited us to share a meal with her. She took us outside to observe the ceremony that occurred prior to sharing food.

After prayers the nuns walked and chanted around the base of their living quarters.

Chanting and walking is part of the Pure Land Buddhist sects rituals.

A closer view of the rituals.

Nuns' living quarters.

Ms. Lorry and Ms. Winter with Yanmao in respectful pose.

Ms. Winter asked a question about prayers and Yanmao immediately took us to the small prayer room to give instructions on the proper way to show respect and pray. This was an interesting demonstration and practical experience for us all.

After a vegetarian lunch and on the way out, Ms. Winter meets and greets a cat that is cared for by the nuns. As I was taking additional pictures of the cat, one of the nuns invited me back to see the cat's family.

Ms. Lorry holds one of the temple cat's kittens, a fluff of white cotton.

Mother cat is not happy.

Yanmao bids us a fond farewell as we go explore the Fuhu Temple.

In the book Yanmao had loaned us, I read about some rare trees in the courtyard of the temple. Here the students pose by what we thought was a rare tree only to find out later it was not so rare.

In this building is the 13th century pagoda which celebrates the meeting of thousands of Buddhist across China during that period.

Can't help taking this beautiful stand in front of the bronze pagoda.

Ms. Lorry and Ms. Winter pose in front of one of the oldest relics in the temple, the 13th Century bronze pagoda.

Sunee visits with some of the nuns in front of the Hall of 500 Arhats. They were very delightful.

One of the huge Buddha images inside the Hall of 500 Arhats.

Ms. Lorry poses with her "lucky" Arhat. She found one that she liked then added her age to its number and found the corresponding sum. This was supposed to represent her lucky arhat.

I pose in the doorway of the Hall of 500 Arhats. Not too often I get my picture taken for this blog so figured I better take advantage.

This is one of the real rare trees the book mentioned. Its pedigree goes back to the time of the dinosaurs and is often called dinosaur food.

A spider makes his web on dinosaur food. Can this be considered an art photo? You judge.

My final photo of Fuhu Temple from above the main courtyard. Absolutely beautiful!

Our visit to the temple was a resounding success. The two students had a great time and learned a lot. Now let's see how well they write their article for the class.


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