Wenshu, an important Chengdu Buddhist monastery, preserved many treasures through decades of tumult: masters’ skulls, sutras written in tongue blood, Buddhas embroidered in human hair. We arrived (the kids said) on ‘monks day off,’ and the boys were invited to play pingpong.
Soon, the monk (beside Kenny) got out his Chinese-English dictionary to look up “Jewish.” Several fellow monks gathered to see the Jews (playing pingpong).
While buying train tickets (here, Chengdu) we were the in-flight entertainment.
Here I returned the gaze:
Speaking of gazes: The Giant Buddha of Le Shan, about 1,200 years old, near Chengdu, built on a river to watch over shipping. I found the big guy, and the atmosphere, more amusement-park than spiritual.
But the Chinese Buddhist monastery there was completely serious.
While northern China in winter is dry brown, the south is green and misty. The crowds sought peace at the Giant Buddha temple complex on their day off, as we did.