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Nov 24

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Two Temples in Taipei

In Taiwan there is a noticeable difference from Mainland China with respect to the practice of religion within the culture. In the previous article I mentioned that Sun Yat-sen and Chiang Kai Shek became Christians. There are many Christians in Taiwan as well as practitioners of Eastern religions of Buddhism and Taoism. During this trip we visited two temples and I found them both to be, vibrant, alive and fascinating.

Longshan Temple – was beautiful, ornately decorated, and busy with worshipers at sundown.

Many dragons adorn the corners of the rooftops.

Many dragons adorn the corners of the rooftops.

A busy temple just around sundown.

The temple was extremely busy at dusk.

 

Unlike a Christian church in the west where there is a formal service performed by minister or priest and everyone prays together. The Buddhist way is one of people constantly coming and going at their leisure, making offerings of food, flowers, prayers and plenty of incense.

 

 

 

 

 

Longshan was built on 1738 by Fujian settlers. Worshipers here may be Buddhist, or Taoists or may come to offer prayers to the deity Mazu – Goddess of the Sea.

Candles and incense abound and give the experience of visiting this temple a very ethereal quality.

Candles and incense give the experience of visiting this temple a very ethereal quality.

An Occidental observing traditions of the Oriental.

An Occidental observing traditions of the Oriental.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After this long day we arranged for foot and shoulder massage. The one hour treatment was sensational! Applying the same concept of meridians used in acupuncture and other forms of Traditional Chinese medicine, the masseur was able to discern that I eat too quickly and he also found some of my old injuries incurred during years of martial arts training and other physical activities. He knew right where my pain was!

The following day we hired a driver to tour us up through Yangmingshan National Park and back down to the city. It was a Sunday morning and the park was crowded with hikers, bikers and tour buses. On the return trip we stopped at Beitou hot springs for a traditional soak in the sulfur water. After 90 minutes of soaking, I was a bit dehydrated.

 

 

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Serenity

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Happiness

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Good Health

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Long Life

Guan Du Temple– another place of worship full of people reciting mantras and supplicating before their chosen deity. Rooftops adorned with colorful carvings of wood and stone. This temple was about 6 stories high, but we chose to only go to the second level. The heat of day after a hot soak had drained much of my energy.

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Built in 1715 and at that time it was known as Linghsan Temple to worship Mazu - goddess of the sea.

Built in 1715 and at that time it was known as Linghsan Temple to worship Mazu – goddess of the sea.

 

imgp4891The doors to the cave are guarded by relief carvings and inside there are various gilded statues and story pictures along the walls.

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In the background the red bridge is Guan du Bridge crossing the Tamsui River.

In the background the red bridge is Guan du Bridge crossing the Tamsui River.

This link to the previous article about Taipei City, Taiwan.

Permanent link to this article: http://english-speak-english.com/two-temples-taipei/

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