Nan Tien Temple


The Nan Tien Temple just south of Wollongong is a Buddhist  humanist Temple beside the Highway in a commanding very visible position. I was to meet my Brother there and drive into Sydney following him.

Somehow I missed the turnoff and had to double back to Five Islands turnoff. I did manage to find it and then when inside the grounds, had to find Pilgrim Lodge where we were staying the night. I walked to Pilgrim Lodge then they told me to drive through the barrier, which didn’t look wide enough, but on trying it, I found it was. So finally I parked beside the Lotus pond and went into Pilgrim Lodge and waited for my brother to arrive. It was very peaceful after the anxiety of getting there.

We decided to participate in what we could, and went to the Drum a d Bell ceremony which occurs twice a day at sunrise and sunset. The experience of standing in the resonance of the Drum and Bell was uplifting, energising and a great start to our visit.

We visited the museum which has some very unique displays of Buddhist culture and history. The founder of the Temple and of the monastic order, Venerable Master Hsing Yun, is featured telling some of the history which has led to his founding 200 temples and 4 universities. The latest institute built alongside the Temple opens 1sr March 2015.

We took a walk up the hill to the Graitude Bell and rang it in gratitude for our mother who recently passed away.  The sound reverberated around the hills.

Next we went down to the Pagoda which has eight stories and is a resting place for the deceased with a shrine to Ksirigarbha Bodhisathva.

We had a lovely vegetarian dinner in the Dining Hall and in the morning a great breakfast which included Chinese and English components. This was after attending Chanting in the Main Shrine with the 5 Buddhas.

The core ideas of Humanistic Buddhism:

Honour yourfamily and nation

Lead an appropriate Lifestyle

Establish right conditions for life and for people

Maintain a harmonious and joyful mind

I highly  recommend the Pilgrim Lodge as a place to stay It offers a place of peace and tranquility in a highly stressed world.

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Tai Chi


Tai Chi has been practised by the Chinese for more than 700 years. The Chinese concept of chi or life force is cultivated with Tai Chi. The free flowing chi is essential for a healthy life. Blockages to the chi are caused by stress. Tai Chi replaces the stress with relaxation, bringing balance and harmony.

Signs which indicate stress are:
Inability to slowdown and relax
Inability to focus your attention
Explosive anger to minor irritation
Sleep disturbances
Heart palpitations
Cold hands or feet
Allergy or asthma attacks
Aching neck and shoulder muscles
Tension headaches
Diarrhoea or constipation
Anxiety or tension

If you notice an intensification of some of these symptoms, its time to do something about it. Tai Chi tones and stretches every muscle of your body. When doing Tai Chi breathing is very important, deep abdominal breathing which tenses and relaxes your abdominal muscles. It improves circulation of particularly the liver and spleen, the blood reservoirs of the body, all the body organs are effected. Tai Chi stimulates and releases blocked energy and enhances yin/yang balance. The ancient Chinese philosophers believed the universe was void and boundless Wu Chi. From Wu CHI EVOLVED MOTION YANG, AND STILLNESS, YIN.

The state which included both aspects was called Tai Chi.

The set of exercises known as Qigong Shibashi, illustrated in the uTube video, is a comprehensive health plan designed to cultivate health and energy in every part of the body.

When learning a movement divide it into steps, first practice the legwork, then the arm movement. Then put them together with the breathing. Twenty minutes of practice 5 times a week is recommended.

Tai Chi teaches you to regain inactivity in your life. When everything around you seems chaotic, Tai Chi helps centre you and makes all things possible from a free and peaceful mind.
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