Kwan Yin Worship

The one and only time I went to Dalat I spent much of my time seeking out obscure little Buddhist temples in the surrounding hills. I don't much like Dalat, though such an admission is sacrilege to my Vietnamese friends. It's too cold and dirty. But the inhabitants of Dalat, forced, probably, through all that grey, chilly weather and those cold showers, tend to be religious creatures. Dalat has re-invented itself as something of the focus of Zen Buddhist practise in Vietnam, and many notable Saigon monastics have their roots in Dalat.
One day my friends took me to quite a large nunnery on a distant mountain, and as always the sisters kept the place in tip-top shape and running perfectly. The place was filled with elderly nuns fingering their prayer beads, and the main hall rung out with the sounds of the younger nuns chanting the sutras and banging on an enormous fish drum.
A little track behind the main hall led up the mountainside, and when I reached the top I discovered this beautiful little shrine to Kwan Yin. There were women, lay and monastic, there offering their prayers, and my presence caused a great flurry of giggles. I was worried I'd wandered into a woman-only space, but one of the young sisters smiled at me and lit some incense for me to offer.
So here is the Kwan Yin on that isolated Dalat mountaintop, and some of the women who live in devotion to her.
Nam Mo Quan The Am Bo Tat!


Anonymous said…
Wow. The island of Putuoshan looks gorgeous. Have you been there Walter?


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