Wenshu Temple

IMG_1688Wenshu Temple (Wenshu yuan 文殊院)–named for the bodhisattva of wisdom Mañjuśri–is the premier Buddhist institution in Chengdu. I’ve been a fan ever since my first visit in 1996. The vegetarian restaurant there (more on that later) became a favorite place for celebrations. In those days, the actual Buddhist practice there seemed a little … lax … but there was a vibrant cultural scene of people singing and doing qigong healing and everything else in the park surrounding the temple, not to mention the genial chaos of the teahouse. It was a great place! The temple and its associated monastery have really thrived over the last two decades, and devotion is more evident than ever before. We decided to go for a visit one of the first warm Sundays this spring. Continue reading

Sounds of Chengdu (2): Music in the Park

It’s been almost five months since my last post. This one actually takes me back to the beginning of August last year. I’ve been extremely busy and happy, and still am, but I’ve realized that working on this blog causes me to approach my life here in a different, and more productive, way. For that reason if nothing else, I want to try and get this going again. Mind you, I’ve got so much old material to post, it may take a while to get caught up. 🙂 Continue reading

Bicycling Chengdu (2)–or Of Packages and P(h)ones (2)

The third of the original set of packages sent to us from the U.S. has finally arrived. To be more precise it’s been sitting in a postal sorting facility for two and a half weeks while we tried to find someone who could think of a way to find it for us. The peculiar thing is that the address on it was perfectly clear. The only thing missing was–once again–a phone number. I truly don’t understand why the post office here can’t just IMG_0375deliver a notice to our mailbox. I know they used to do that, but they appear to have gone paperless (a strange but progressive way to run a post office). It seems that it was separated from its brethren after a postal worker accidentally burst open one of its edges while using it as a soccer ball. They probably didn’t realize it was mostly full of books, and books make terrible soccer balls. Thankfully, it appears that nothing fell out–how I don’t know–but I’m not going to complain.

At any rate Continue reading