June 25, 2010

Shanghai Buddhas

There are a couple of interesting Buddhist temples in Shanghai. The Jade Buddha Temple has multiple admission levels - one to enter the temple, one to see the jade statues, and one to watch the fish swimming in the stream behind. After paying the initial entrance fee, the security guard eyed my friend Barry and I suspiciously. We lurked around the entrance, hoping to catch a glimpse of the famed jade statue as a group of cell phone wielding monks passed by.

The Temple of Peace and Tranquility looked brand new and was attached to a shopping mall. In the courtyard stood a large vase. Visitors tried to throw coins into it for good luck. Most people missed, as the coins glanced off the exterior, clattered onto the cement, and rolled away. We observed one lady who collected all these coins and pocketed the loose change. To divert attention from her insidious actions, every once in a while she performed a mock coin toss that missed horribly. She collected my daily wage in coins in the 15 minutes that we observed her. We moved on to Yuyuan Gardens. The well manicured property is one of the the more pleasant areas amidst the steel and concrete of the modern metropolis.


"There is no fire like passion, there is no shark like hatred, there is no snare like folly, there is no torrent like greed." ~ Buddha