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Zhulin Temple of Yantai

 2014-04-11    sonrisabai    Sights    Yantai    980  

First built in AD 1162, Zhulin temple has long been famous historic sights temple with more than eight hundred years history. It was first built by some monk in Song Dynasty. Located on the sunny-slope of Mountain Daiwang, with sea view under, the beautiful view has attracted numerous tourists visit. For sincere buddhist monks, it’s a holy land. Today, it has become the only monastery with rich ethnic characteristics in Shandong Pennisula. Each year a large number of visitors come to this temple for pilgrimage.

Before coming up to the temple, you have to You have to climb a passage of steep stone steps that's roughly 50-meter-long. Besides the small road lies abundant bamboo in deep green color, sounds of mountain streams flowing over from the distance, sun rays shining through the tall trees leaves on my face, what a lovely view! Those steep steps and tall trees are like natural guard, protecting the temple from being sabotaged. There are several halls with different functions and a bell tower inside the temple. Each hall has its own special use. Walking in, an eyeful of buddhas lying ahead me. I could recognize some like Maitreya Buddha Sakyamuni, Western Trinity, Bodhisattva, Earth Store Bodhisattva, Eighteen Buddhas.

I peek through a locked room and I see Maitreya. He's grinning, eyes beaming liken telling the world,"If you want to believe in Buddha, you have to learn to smile to everyone."I had to admire the exquisite carving skills, they look just like people in the real world. Personally I believe in some theory of Buddha, but not them all. Like “Humans are born to suffer”, that makes sense. It’s a great self-comforting tool. But it's always good to have faith for it gives you strength to live a better life.

I come to the most renowned hall of the temple-Mahavira Hall. The gate threshold is a little bit high, I have to be extra careful when stepping by. In front, there are some small red lanterns with blurry black words hanging above, too hard to tell what it says. This is where abbot and monks chant and meditation everyday. They just happen to have a famous master here to tell stories about buddha and chant Buddhist scriptures. All the sincere believers are sitting there, listening carefully of the master's speech. I join them silently and chant for a short while, praying for all the best luck to all my loved ones.

It reminds me of a poem I’ve heard so many times since childhood. Outside the verdant Zhulin temple, there comes profound tower bell. Wearing bamboo hat and carrying the setting sun, you're walking to the mountains, alone. I've heard it for so many times and I always been wanting to take a look of this heavenly beautiful place that's depicted in the poem, thick bamboo forests, aging tower bells, rumbling mountain streams. Finally my dream come true.

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