Incense, candles, chanting, and devotion.
19.06.2012 - 19.06.2012 81 °F
We visited the temple on the first day of the fifth lunar month. Buddhists pray at the temple on the first and the fifteenth day of each lunar month so we walked into a very active temple. We’ve visited other temples in China, but they’ve all been empty except for tourists. It was very moving to watch the people burning incense, lighting lotus candles, praying to the four directions, and kneeling to pray in each of the temple rooms. The monks were chanting and their voices could be heard as we walked from building to building. Buddhists were balancing coins on the edges of vases and placing money on in and around statues and carvings. The place was packed with the devout.
I purchased a lotus flower candle and attached a sticker that said, “All my wishes will come true” and added Dan’s name and my name. After I made my wish, the temple worker placed it with the other candles.
As we walked around I noticed women placing silver paper into bags. The silver paper represented money for the spirits. They were for sale and were burned as an offering to the Buddha. All of the offerings were burned in some way so that the smoke could rise to the heavens and carry the prayers or wishes of the people to whomever or whatever was listening or watching. We left smelling of incense and covered with ashes.