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Mc Stunners & The Dongling Monastery

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

Did you ever have one of those Mcdays where you never seemed to get Mcanywhere? Mcyet you finally end up where you were trying to get to all Mclong.

Today was supposed to Mcfind me at the top of McLushan but after last nights Mcpigout I woke up with the worst Mcstomach ache in the history of all Mc mankind. Did so, I counted them all and mine was the Mc worst! After yesterdays adventure along the Yangtze River I headed to the Mctrain station to grab my ticket home to Xian and if you didn’t read yesterdays blog then you won’t know that I walked out with a Mcfreakin ticket that will end the 2009 McSummer Beers N Noodles Adventure by sitting in a Mcfreakin hard seat for over seventeen hours.

Mc Yeah…..Mc Not! So what is all the Mcthisin and Mcthatin about?

After leaving the train station full of Mcgood humour I dropped into Mc D’s for a coffee and to do some writing and I happily took a seat next to a most Mcstunning McBeauty and her young daughter. We began chatting and had the best Mctime and I’m sure if there was no daughter then the best Mctime would have carried onto an even better Mctime, but sadly that couldn’t Mchappen so when it was time for them to go we swapped numbers and she then cut her cheese burger in half and we Mcsadly said out good byes.

Mc Damn! I don’t know if it was the food or the McStunner but all of a sudden I needed to eat Mc Donald’s.

I raced to the Mccounter and purchased a Big Mac, a Big and Beefy, a Fillet of Fish and a chocolate sundae and proceeded to Mcgorge myself with a food I never eat yet always Mc find myself surrounded by when I write. Later in the evening the Mcspecial sauces and Mccheeses were totally kicking my Mcinsides around and I headed to bed early without even Mcbothering with a Mccoldie or two.

This morning I woke feeling so Mcbloated, McFat and so over Ronald McFreaking Donald. I spent the Mcmorning Mcthisin and Mcthatin and in a Mcfoul mood. People actually eat this stuff! I think I’ll stick to beers and noodles!

When I woke just after lunch time I was all Mc’d out and feeling so much better so I decided not to waste the day and go where everyone would spend their spare afternoon in Jiujiang City, to the Donglin Monastery. It was a damn fine plan until I put it into action and from there it kind of went down hill a little and across the fields and back up hill and then everywhere but where I wanted it to take me. I found out about the temple last night when I finally sat down to gather some information on everything I had seen over the past few days and as there was a lot of information on the temple I figured it would be simple to get to.

It seemed that everyone knew about it but no one actually knew which bus to take to get there.

I spent hours trying to find a tour shop around the lake area but couldn’t find any and then just as I was about to give in I decided to head to the bus station as a last resort before heading back to my hotel. Once again I came across the same answers and just as I gave up and turned away from the huge tour map on the station wall an old lady came over and asked where I wanted to go, she then led me where I needed to go.

If you want to visit the Donglin Temple and you are near the bus station (just past the huge round about on Xunyang Lu in the north of the city), from the bus station head across the road and up the hill a little and on the left hand side of the road (as you walk up the hill) you will find a small stop for the Phantom Bus Number 7. I call it this as this is the only numbered stop for it. From here it goes along Lushan Lu on the west side of the city lake with the bus slowing down for anyone who flags it.

So I guess you can also catch it anywhere along Lushan Lu if you flag it down.

After a wonderful visit I caught Bus Number 14 back to the first main road in the city where it stopped and from there I walked all the way back to my hotel which took about three hours. I could have caught Buses 101 to 105 from the first main road to the northern side of the lake as I have been told they all go to the bus station I began my journey at but none of them leave the city and go near the temple. Now I am hoping to wake feeling like tackling a mountain tomorrow and then getting back to the hotel in time for a shower and then making my way to the train station with enough time to catch my homeward bound train.

So let’s hope there are no Mc Ups and Downs tomorrow!

<u>Donglin Monastery</u>

Located around sixteen kilometers northwest of Lushan Mountain in Jiujiang City, Donglin Monastery is renowned as the cradle of Chinese Pure Land Buddhism. The monastery has a history of over sixteen hundred years and was established by Monk Hui Yuan in the year 384 during the Eastern Jin Dynasty (AD317-420). The monastery with many grand structures and the profound culture of Buddhism attracts many visitors from both home and abroad each year.

Donglin Monastery covers an area of about 120,000 square meters with a floor area of about 4,500 square meters. The surrounding mountains make the Donglin Monastery rather remote and secluded. The monastery was quite prosperous during the Tang Dynasty (AD618-907), and there were more than 300 halls and rooms at that time. Being the major sermon place of Buddhism for a long time, Donglin Monastery established its fame and prestige firmly. Jian Zhen (AD688-763), a dignitary of the Tang Dynasty, rested at the Donglin Monastery after his fifth failure to travel to Japan. During his stay, he and the Donglin monks had a good exchange of thoughts. Then in the year AD753, Jian Zhen together with Zhi En, a monk in Donglin, made a sixth trip to Japan and arrived the next year.

Thus began the mission of prevailing Buddhism and the Chinese civilization.

Destroyed during the Anti-Japanese War (AD1973-1945), the existing buildings were rebuilt in recent years. Along the central axis visitors can appreciate the gate; the Great Buddha's Hall attached to Arhat Hall, Mile hall, and Shenyun Hall, attached to Sanxiao Hall (Three Laughers Hall), depositary of Buddhist texts and other relics. There are a great many histories and legends preserved in the monastery and some of the halls. The bridge at the front of the monastery is called Huxi (Tiger Stream) Bridge.

Legend has it that the master of the Donglin Monastery, Hui Yuan, had focused on studying Buddhism and vowed not to go across the bridge; one day while seeing two of his friends off he was so preoccupied by conversation that he walked across the bridge, when the trio heard a tiger roaring they realized the cause and burst out in laughter. Thus in Sanxiao Hall (Three Laughers Hall) recorded the beautiful legend and preserved it for your exploration.

Tourists have the chance to share vegetarian food with monks in the temple.

Entering the dining hall, men sit in lines on the right side and women on the left. The monks stand in two lines reciting the Buddhist scriptures, kowtowing toward the Buddha and playing religious music. Tourists must not make any noise when eating. If they want more food, they can draw circles in their bowl with their chopsticks and the monks will help them. When the dinner is finished, monks will chant scriptures again to request the Buddha bless the tourists. The entire process is sacred and solemn and provides tourists with a sense of the culture of the Buddhist religion.

Beers N Noodles toya…..shane

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The soundtrack to this entry was by White Zombie The album was 'Supersexy Swingin Sounds’ ____________________________________________________________

Dongling Monastery

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Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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