Nan Tien Temple, Wollongong

Last weekend I went to the open day of the newly created Nan Tien Institute in Wollongong, just outside of Sydney.
This is a fully accredited tertiary institution specialising in Buddhist studies. At the moment classes are being conducted on the spacious and exquisite grounds of the Nan Tien temple itself, but they are about to begin building a $40 million campus that will offer degrees in Buddhist studies.

Outside the Kwan Yin Shrine



The whole project makes me ache to be an undergraduate again - surely there is no more beautiful, peaceful and unique campus in Australia.







I have been a regular visitor to Nan Tien temple since it first opened way back in 1995 - indeed, I remember making my own humble contribution to the building project while it was still going on.


 

It is the most wonderful place to visit - a perfect day trip from Sydney. And I love the way it hovers on the precipice between ultimate multicultural exoticism and suburban monument - there are an extraordinary number of vistors over the weekend who I would describe as "ordinary Australians," in shorts and t-shirts taking in the sights. It's quite lovely to witness this meeting of worlds.


Statue of Kwan Yin in the temple gardens

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