The history of the temple begins with a long journey, that of a Burmese monk returning with two jade Buddha statues. In 1917, a temple was built to welcome them, and it remains one of the most active temples in Shanghai. About 100 monks of the Zen school live here. Very quickly, one is struck by the followers' devotion. In one of the five courtyards, neighbourhood workers come and bow, standing, slightly leaning, while wielding big sticks of incense.
In the Hall of Heavenly Kings awaits a laughing Buddha. And once past the first courtyard, under four rows of beautiful red lanterns (red being the colour of love and compassion in Buddhism) you will meet other meditating believers, this time sitting on large red poufs. On the first floor sits the first jade Buddha meditating in a red and golden niche. Sitting, he measures 1.9 metres. The altar in front of him holds the offerings: lotus flowers and fruit, graciously presented in pyramids.
In the next room, that of the ‘Ancestors', is the second jade Buddha. Lying on his side, his head is supported by his right hand as he serenely awaits death…
170, Anyuan Road
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