Yunmen Temple, Ruyuan, Guangdong
(July 23, 2012)

(1) Vendors' kids playing in front of Dajue (Great Enlightenment) Temple, better known as Yunmen (Cloud Gate) Temple. I had fun trying to get shots of all of the kids. The temple is at Yunmen Mountain, and was the seat of the great monk Yunmen Wenyan.

(2) Success!

(3) This not-so-pretty gate is new. (Note the threatening weather, but I never saw rain today. Tomorrow a typhoon is expected.)

(4) I prefer this older gate. Alas, it seems not long for this world.

(5) Behind the big gate one espies the nunnery called "Xiao Xitian" (Little Western Heaven), and the Shakyamuni Pagoda behind it. The broad avenue leads to Yunmen Temple itself.

(6) This temple still has working farms, a rarity these days. (I love the look of sky in rice paddies.)

(7) Laymen pour unhusked rice into a thresher, while a nun (?) turns the crank.

(8) There were numerous plaques on the walkway up to the temple. If I ever come back, I want to be an ox-riding flute-player in my next life.

(9) The "free-life pond" in front of the temple. Note the stone boat.

(10) A view of the front hall across the bridge over the pond. The red character on the stone in the foreground means "Buddha."

(11) The main hall. Note the shed roof in front.

(12) Under the shed roof is this peculiar image of Vairochana, my favorite Buddha. Why it's here is a mystery (to me).

(13) The arrangement of statues and "umbrellas" (the cloth tubes) inside the main hall is eye-boggling.

(14) A young monk rings the lunch gong. (I wasn't invited.) I saw at least 20 monks who were primary-school age. A school? Orphanage? I don't know...

(15) This pretty little courtyard is dedicated to Yunmen Wenyan, the temple's founder.

(16) Here is a statue of Yunmen Wenyan in its own hall.

(17) In the same hall hangs a mirror. Symbolic, or practical?

(18) A fine old thousand-armed Guanyin in the Ketang (guest hall).

(19) Out the front gate and headed up the mountain, I saw several of these large, beautiful, blue-black butterflies.

(20) A view over the temple's roofs. There are only three halls in the main compound: the Four Kings' Hall, the Buddha Hall, and a Dharma Hall at the back. This is the fundamental, ancient arrangement.

(21) Up the mountainside are this pagoda and hall dedicated to Master Xuyun.

(22) Master Xuyun's statue inside the hall.

(23) I seldom shoot pavilions, but this one was so pretty.

(24) The brand-new, as-yet-unopened "Shakyamuni Relic Pagoda." Where are all these "relics" coming from?

(25) The landscaping around the pagoda reminded me of some I've seen in Japan.

(26) More landscaping...

(27) ...and more (although this looks more like the fairway on a golf-course). The integration with the local landscape is admirable.

(28) The view from the pagoda terrace.

(29) On the way out to the temple, I had noted this small pagoda in the center of Ruyuan. On returning, I jumped off the bus early, and learned it's dedicated to Wen Chang, a "god" of culture.

(30) This young girl (18, and still in high school) tapped me on the shoulder and said she wanted to "make friends with me" although her "English is poor." Ou Qiu Ting stuck with me all of five minutes before leaving.

(31) A tranquil scene near the pagoda. Had I cropped it, it would have been timeless, but I thought leaving the buildings above in the picture made a nice contrast.

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Last Updated August 18, 2019

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