Friday, August 7, 2015

Haizhuang Temple 海幢寺 in Guangzhou

Haichuang Gate, shot by Jiang Wu
In May 2015, I visited Haizhuang Temple 海幢寺 in Guangzhou. This is one of the oldest Buddhist monasteries built in the tenth century. It was revived during the Ming-Qing transition and was held by Caodong 曹洞 masters, including Tianran Hanshi 天然函昰, Azi Jinwu 阿字今無, and Dangui Jinshi 澹归今释 (Southern Ming loyalist Jin Bao 金堡). These were all famous Zen teachers at that time. I have a brief summary of the rise of the Caodong lineage in Guangdong in my book Enlightenment in Dispute,page 98. The monastery kept a good website about its history. The current abbot is Master Xincheng 新成.

What I don't know is its connection with Guangzhou Foreign communities because it faced Pearl River and the port. Before the Opium War, this was the only scenic spot in the city open to the foreigners. Therefore, it was figured in many European publications about China around the time. Foreign residences and modern societies were developed around this temple.

The Old Haichuang Temple around 1840s.
From China Illustrated, painted by Thomas Allom, 1843. 中譯 

No comments:

Post a Comment