Nan Shaolin Temple, Putian, Fujian (October 29, 2011)

(1) This is Chen Rong (on the left), who owns a coffee shop; her husband's job as a developer paid for the swanky Lexus we rode up the hill to Nan Shaolin Temple in. Chen Lishu (on the right, no relation) lived in a temple and studied English in Davao, the Philippines, for a year; she now works as an accountant, and hasn't spoken English since she returned to China four years ago.

How did I end up with these two lovelies, you ask?

While I was working last night on what I thought were the last postings for this trip, I got a call from Venerable Deru. His "friend" in Putian wanted to take me to Nan Shaolin Temple. (He had actually been nagging me about this for days.) To get him off my back, I finally agreed, even though I had sort of hoped to visit Meizhou Island in Putian, birthplace of the Daoist sea goddess Mazu (Tian Hou) and home to numerous temples dedicated to her.

Anyway, at 11 this morning, Lishu showed up with her friend Rong. As it turns out, Lishu doesn't have a car. I suspect she didn't "want" to take me, but was gently coerced by a certain monk (as I was). So there we were. We stopped first to buy my airport bus ticket, then up the mountain we went.

(2) Here's the Four Kings' Hall.

(3) The Laughing Buddha inside the Four Kings' Hall.

(4) This is the main Buddha hall. To tell the truth, there's not much to see here. It's all a little provisional at this point; some of the statues are mere placeholders, and the ceiling panels are just sprayed gold paint through cheap stencils. Ven. Deru kept saying "it's historic" when he was twisting my arm the other day. I said if I tried to go to every "historic" temple in China, I'd be dead before I finished.

(5) The Buddha on the main altar.

(6) The leaves of a Bodhi tree, the kind the Buddha sat under when he gained enlightenment. Note that they're heart-shaped. And an appropriate shot as I LEAF you for a few days!

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We had lunch at the last temple I went to yesterday, and I caught the airport bus. I'm posting this in the airport KFC, and now it's time to check in.

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Last Updated August 8, 2019

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