What an experience ...
The Nan Hua Temple
The Nan Hua Temple – 1 August 2004
Surrounded by brown empty veld in Bronkhorstspruit stands a building of incredible beauty, the Nan Hua Temple, the home of Buddhism in Africa. Next to it is the Nan Hua Guest House, nearly as impressive. Both these buildings are part of a Taiwanese project which begun in 1992 and reflects a 500 year plan to promote and develop Buddhism in Africa. Similar temples have been built in America, Australia and Europe.
On a freezing Sunday morning, 1 August, 15 JHC members with 17 friends, paid a visit to this amazing place of worship. Various reasons prompted us to visit: some were curious tourists keen to see a new sight; others sought spiritual inspiration while many felt a genuine desire to know more about the ancient religion of Buddhism. Whatever our motivation, none of us was disappointed.
The tourists were awed by the beautiful architecture of the temple, which follows the ancient tradition of temples in China; the statues and artifacts in the museum and shrines; and the hand paintings on the temple walls executed by visiting Chinese craftsmen.
Those seeking spiritual enlightenment were inspired by the chanting of the monks and nuns in their morning service; by their calm and quiet demeanour as they glided through the buildings in their androgynous grey and brown garments; and by the enthusiasm of the recruits who have embraced the monastic life as part of a three year course, learning amongst many things, the challenging Chinese language with its hundreds of characters.
Those who wanted to understand the Buddhist faith better, were not disappointed either. They learn that Buddhism is a way of life rather than a traditional religion/church to which one ‘belongs’, the teachings of Buddha are contained in many Sutras; Buddhists follow five precepts or rules in their search for inward perfection and practice meditation, chanting, mindfulness and kindness on their spiritual journey.
All in all, the outing was a tremendous success and we can only say thank you to Inge Meets for organising this cultural adventure and to Joseph Lui for ‘leading’ us with such patience and insight
Pictures which were submitted by the mid week group who also experienced this spiritual journey.
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