1 hour ago
Posted by Walter Mason on Sunday, 6 June 2010
Mingue Temple in Bonnyrigg is one of my "places."
I go there when I need some inspiration. On weekdays the place is normally quite deserted, and there are plenty of benches to sit on and read or write - it is an excellent place in which to break through writers' block.
My favourite part of this multi-purpose worship complex is the forlorn little Taoist hall to the right of the main worship hall. It is always empty, even on the busiest festival days. I get the feeling there aren't all that many interested Taoists around these parts.
Maybe because of its lack of popularity it has become the resting place for all kinds of statues and images that aren't necessarily Taoist. I noticed last week that a number of statues of Bodhidharma - the great Patriarch of Zen Buddhism in China - have made their way onto the shrines there.
It seems to me that the hall is now doubling as a shrine to the Buddhist Patriarchs, who stand alongside images of the Taoist Immortals, Lao Tzu and Lu Dongbin.
But still no-one comes.
While no-one takes much interest in it, the Taoist Hall becomes more and more a storage area.
Cleaning implements and unused furniture are beginning to clutter the worship spaces.
The whole place could do with an injection of TLC, but in the meantime I will continue to frequent it because I love things forgotten.