04 October 2008

chi lin nunnery, part two

i found these beautiful little details all over the place, including these little inversed screens over walkway lights.  really beautiful, not overdone or tacky.  try finding this back in the states, anywhere.

even the garbage bins are not spared a little bit of special artistry.

this was one of my favorite details.  to enter into any new area of the temple, one had to step over a barrier, maybe only six inches tall.  but the sensation of having to use care and interrupt walking to enter into a new space was really profound, and appropriate.  again, this would never fly in america.

at every large idol (ten-foot tall statues of buddhist deities, handcrafted and covered in gold leaf (!), which i was not allowed to photograph, sadly) the temple displayed some short description of elements of the buddhist faith.   this was my favorite, especially the last paragraph. 

 i was also surprised to learn that buddhism is, essentially, christianity --- a man of god comes to earth, lays out the rules and saves some people, dies, and now we're waiting for him to come back.  i think that says something really fundamental about the nature of human belief and hope.

simply a pretty pattern.

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