Guangzong Temple, Wutaishan, Shanxi
(August 27, 2012)

(1) Guangzong Si was built by a Tibetan monk in 1507 at the urging of the emperor Ming Zhengde, "an ardent believer in Tibetan Buddhism" according to one source. It was later the seat of an influential 20th-century monk named Fazun. Though ethnically Chinese, he helped spread Tibetan Buddhism in the Mainland.

It was just starting to sprinkle as I arrived at the Heavenly Kings' Hall, which serves as the front gate.

(2) I absolutely loved the small Buddha Hall.

(3) The altar was unusual. The arrangement of statues looks more like the reredos of an old Catholic church than the altar of a Buddha Hall.

(4) Some of the arhats in the hall

(5) Some of the arhats in the hall

(6) The back hall was closed, but peeking in the window, I saw this amazing sight. I wonder what it was for? No one was in there... (I later determined it had been set up for the Ghost Festival, an event I would encounter several more times on this trip.)

(7) To the east of the original compound was this huge hall, which dwarfed the others, dedicated to the 20th-century monk Fazun, who died in 1980.

(8) East of that compound was a cliff, affording more great views of the valley and beyond. Looking down, I saw this little "garden mandala" of elephants and sunflowers on a terrace. (BTW, Lila, I think of you every time I see sunflowers, and especially these!)

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Last Updated August 21, 2019

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