Thursday, June 20, 2013

Taiwan Day 1: Chung Tai Shan Monastery, Puli

Their first day in Taiwan Pipkin and Domo visited Chung Tai Shan Monastery. It is the tallest Buddhist monastery in the world, nestled in the mountains of Puli, Nantou county, in central Taiwan. The view from here is gorgeous.

 Pretty gardens and parks surround the monastery. This is the Unity Bridge in Lotus Pond.

This fierce looking figure is a dharmapala - Dharma Protector - and sits outside many Buddhist temples. The dharmapala is there to avert the inner and outer obstacles that prevent practitioners from seeking spiritual realization. Domo doesn't even know what that means, so he's here expressing his frustration. No, he doesn't want to meditate on it.

Pipkin was a little embarrased by Domo so he sat outside the Hall of the Four Heavenly Kings. From here, he could feel the powerful air conditioning pour out the giant doors of the hall.

This is one of a pair of elephants outside Chan Joy Hall.

This cheerful statue sits under a bodhi tree in the Deer Garden - which, by the way, doesn't have any actual deer. There were stone statues of deer, but not any real deer. Yeah. WTF.

Finally, Pipkin and Domo went inside the monastery, but weren't allowed to take any photographs. They did manage to sneak this one photo. Amongst the grand statues and giant carvings made from thousand year old trees, Pipkin saw this vending machine for cold beverages.

People must be thirsty after all that praying and meditation.

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