With my mother visiting me in Tainan I had to take her to the nearby Fo Guang Shan, perhaps one of the world’s biggest monasteries, to learn more about Buddhism and how it’s been practiced in Taiwan.
This time, I asked for the tour and the monastery was kind enough to have a lady monk accompany us and explain about what we’re seeing. She was incredibly sweet to my mother, taking her hand by hand, and calmly answering even the most sensitive questions.
They even arranged a private golf-car to take us around the big campus.
We were taken inside two of the museums and the main hall where hundreds of volunteers were cleaning the thousands of Buddha statues inside.
Naturally, we also revisited the beautiful golden Buddha overlooking Kaohsiung County, and wished for eternal lives hitting the big gong.
The whole place looks especially magical during sunset.
It was the first time I’ve heard the story behind the monastery and the order. What appears to be like a simple monk from China with an extremely simplistic message has grown into a world-wide organization with influences in almost all possible areas (education, welfare, society, government, etc.) in only a few decades. Completely surreal and somewhat difficult to grasp.