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Fo Guang Shan Monastery
Fo Guang Shan Monastery is one of the monasteries in the International Chinese Buddhist Religious Movement. The monastery is located on the North-East of Dashu Township on the bank of the Gaoping River.
Address: No.153, Xingtian Road, Xingtian Village, Dashu District, Kaohsiung City
Fo Guang Shan Monastery runs like a well oiled machine. As the day progresses everyone participates in the next activity. The day begins at the break of dawn to the sound of a wooden board. Once the call is made, all must wake up quickly. Everyone must move quickly so as not to be late for the morning formation. Hurry! Hurry! No one can be late! Fo Guang Shan Monastery has begun the day!
After the morning formation the monks form a line in front of the Buddha. With palms together they stand perfectly still for two hours chanting before the Buddha. Time is forgotten! This is thought to clear the mind. It is to sow the seeds of wisdom deep in the mind. It also is believed to aid in having an attitude of repentance and thankfulness. One is thankful for life! Thankful, for the new day!
The morning porridge is then drank. It is good to learn acceptance of the offered food as sustenance to the cultivation of the mind and spirit. The monks also invite the Buddha to join them in the morning meal. Silence is practiced. Peace is in the room.
The next activity is to meticulously clean the monastery and temple. One is taught to perform each task with a peaceful mind. After the temple is cleaned, then the mornings work is preformed. Everyone has a work to do in this peaceful place. A break is given in the afternoon. Most of the monks use this time to take a nap. After the nap, the work of the day is finished. If one does not work, one does not eat!
After the evening meal there is time for lessons and self-study. At the sounding of the board the lights go out and the monastery is quiet for the night. The day usually ends around 10 pm. All is quiet! Fo Guang Shan Monastery has gone to sleep.
Programs of the Fo Guang Shan Monastery include a free medical clinic with mobile units that serve remote villages. This is often all the medical care that the villagers receive. There is an annual winter relief program organized to distribute warm clothing and food supplies to the needy. On the Fo Guang Shan Monastery grounds is a children’s orphanage and seniors’ home . A wildlife conservation area to protect all living creatures is on the grounds. There is a beautiful and peaceful cemetery for the care of the deceased whose families have no money for burial.
A Place To Visit
Fo Guang Shan Monastery is one of the most impressive of Buddhist Monasteries. It is complete with a Buddhist Temple, museum, bookstore, gift shop, pilgrimage site, and a Starbucks. It is a perfect place to spend a peaceful day. ‘Fo Guang Shan literally meansBuddha’s Light Mountain. It is an international Chinese Buddhist new religious movement based in Taiwan, It was founded in 1967, and promotes humanistic Buddhism .The grounds are extremely pleasant. They are beautiful.The view overlooking the river is out of this world. At the close of the New Year Celebrations, a fireworks display is done nightly. Children love this nightly display of light on the mountain.The Monks are extremely friendly. They are very accepting of visitors. There are guest accommodations at the monastery. This is perhaps one of the top ten places to see in Taiwan.