Monday, March 24, 2014

Visit to the Buddhist Nan Tien Temple

The co driver's yoga group organized a visit to and a guided tour of the Nan Tien Temple in Wollongong, New South Wales' third largest city which is about 2 hours drive to the north of us.
So I and one other male accompanied 25 ladies on a charter bus.

This is the largest Buddhist temple in the Southern Hemisphere.
Wollongong Council donated 26 acres in the suburb of Berkeley for the project which started in 1992 and took 5 years planning and 2 years construction. 
The Fo Guang Shan Buddhist order is Taiwan based and headed by the Venerable Master Hsing Yun. 

We were given an introductory talk on the architectural layouts of each shrine before the ladies participated in a walking meditation. I spent that time wandering around the beautifully kept gardens.
Then we were taken into the main shrine and given explanations of Buddhist symbols and statues situated there and around temple grounds.
This was followed by a discussion on Buddhist philosophy and how the practice of Buddhism can influence one's daily life. A lively question and answer session followed.

Then it was time for a simple vegetarian lunch followed by a visit to the library, museum and gift shop.

A very enjoyable day resulting in a better understanding of a religion practised by an estimated 350 million people (6% of the world's population), making Buddhism the world's fourth largest religion.

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