Monday, September 22, 2014

Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery.

A friend and I decided to explore Hong Kong while the rest of our families were at work and in school. The night before, we were researching tourist attractions on the internet. I found this monastery with ten thousand golden Buddhas in Sha Tin and thought it would be a great place to visit.

We were not disappointed the next day as we made our way up the steep path. I had read online that the entrance to the monastery was very unpretentious and one could walk right past it if you didn't know it was there. Fortunately we ran into another tourist on her way to the monastery, and with the use of the internet on her phone, we were all able to walk right to the path leading up to the monastery. Sandwiched between the Ikea parking garage where we purchased all of the furniture for our flat, and another sky-rise building, at the end of the dead end, we found the path. 

I was glad that I hadn't brought my kids with me for the climb up to the monastery. I could just see my five year old daughter finding the walk up difficult and wanting my husband to carry her the rest of the way on his shoulders. But I also wished they were with me, because they would have loved experiencing the walk as well. 

It amazed me how each Buddha looked completely different from all the other Buddha's. There was so much detail that varied from one to the next. Facial mannerisms, body shape, what each Buddha was clothed in, as well as what each Buddha was carrying or surrounded by really changed from one to the next.

The monastery was founded in 1951 by Venerable Yuet Kai. His body is preserved and resides in a glass case at the monastery, which can be viewed today. After the trek up the mountain, you can really appreciate the manual labor that went into creating this beautiful monastery. One can envision the men carrying the building supplies from the base of the mountain up the steep climb to make it what it is today. 

Just when we thought we had reached the top of the mountain, my friend and I realized the path went on and there was more climbing to be discovered. With Buddha's residing on the side of the mountain instead of just the path, we climbed our way up more steps to find turtles living in a pond that was being fed by a waterfall. Making our way up more stairs to the top of the waterfall, we came to this beautiful milky white statue.

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