Peaceful Moments In Taiwan
Begin your journey of peace in the small quaint village of Xingtian. The pleasant mist makes it a location of quiet and peace. A place where you will see humble monks doing their shopping on a peaceful day. It is a village of quiet moments. Hectic moments may surround it, but this small village is a symbol of tranquility. The village is located within the city of Kaohsiung in the Southern area of Taiwan. It is an area of beauty! It is here on Xingtian Road we visit our first peaceful moments at Fo Guang Shan.
Fo Guang Shan Gate in Kaohsiung
As we approach the gate to the Fo Guang Shan Monastery in Xingtian District of Kaohsiung, Taiwan, we continue on in our journey of peace. Once you enter the gates of the Fo Guang Shan Monastery, you have left behind the quiet stir of village life. The business of Kaohsiung is just but a memory. The city life is gone. Welcome to Fo Guang Shan.
Fo Guang Shan Monastery is one of the monasteries of the International Chinese Buddhist Religious Movement. The International Chinese Buddhist Movement is the fastest growing religious movement in Taiwan. It is growing rapidly throughout the world. Come inside the gates. Walk with the monks through a day of simplicity, meditation, and prayer. Enjoy the tranquility, peaceful moments, and the magnificent countryside. Loose yourself from all the stress of a busy week in a world of technology. Relax in a park-like setting. Feel the stress melt away in this amazing landscape.However you choose to enjoy Fo Guang Shan, there is peace and healing in the natural world that surrounds it. It is a simple and beautiful environment. It is one where you can meditate, think, or pray. Even those who follow other paths of religion, find it a place of relaxation for the weary soul.
Fo Guang Shan
The magnificent and beautiful scenery surrounding the Fo Guang Shan Monastery makes you sure that you have arrived in secluded heaven. The monks and center volunteers are kind. They are approachable and respectful. With such an exquisite environment you can feel at home no matter what your religious beliefs.
Many painters come here to paint. Here in nature, they find the inspiration they need to complete their projects. Writers come here to write, as they too can create in this quiet natural monastery. Many artists complete and exhibit their artwork in the main gallery. What a delight it is to see paintings that were completed on site by many different artists. Poets often write amazing works while in residence here. No matter what you came to do, you will find the opportunity to complete the task at hand. This is a world of meditation and prayer with few outside distractions.
Those who come to worship the Buddha are able to experience the deep inner peace needed. They are able to experience the compassionate heart of the Venerable Master while spending time at the Buddha Memorial Center. Many Chinese come from around the world to find the balance between their heart and their soul. This is a major part of Humanistic Buddhism. Among those who came to worship the Buddha, many come desiring an opportunity to venerate him as well. Many of the flock come from all over the world to spend time in meditation and prayer to this Buddha.
You will find many pagodas where you can study if that was what you came to do. One pagoda has a complete bookstore. There are books in many languages. There are reading tables. You can buy a book and find a pleasant place to read or study. There are pagodas that give much of the history of Humanistic Buddhism. For those who came to learn, they will find many opportunities.
Those visiting often leave in awe at the amount of preparation that goes into receiving so many people from so many countries each day. You experience a genuine sincerity and welcome from each Buddhist Monk, lay Buddhist, and the countless volunteers. This monastery runs like a well-oiled machine from early morning till early evening.
Many professional photographers come here to photograph the monastery and the Buddhists that call it home. Many leave examples of their beautiful photos in the gallery. They are showcased next to the paintings that are also on exhibit.
There are Eight Pagodas on both sides of the Great Path to Buddhaland. They are built-in the Chinese pagoda style and give a brief introduction to the monastery and grounds. These pagodas symbolize the spread of Buddhism from India to China. Here in the pagodas you can rest and have a perfect cup of tea.
The Six Perfection Pagoda give an introduction to the amazing one-stroke calligraphy of the Venerable Master. There are videos of general introduction, as well as teaching videos. You can come away with your own one-stroke calligraphy painting. For those who have an interest in this art-style of calligraphy, there are many opportunities to learn.
Next, you will come across the Five Harmonies Pagoda. It is a house of joy and celebration. On a perfect day, you may experience a Buddhist wedding taking place under the blessing of the Buddha. Many celebrations of the family happen here. Wedding anniversaries, engagements, baby blessings, and other important family events take place under the blessing of the Buddha.
There is also a Museum on the Life of the Buddha. Here you can trace the steps of the Buddha while on earth. Next, you will see the Golden Buddha Shrine and then come into the court of the Big Buddha. There is also a Jade Buddha Shrine, and a Museum of the Buddhist Underground Palace. This exhibit is extraordinary.
You will also see the Twin Pavilions on site. The architecture of the pavilions is amazing. They are very simple and tastefully done. You will then come to the Avalokitesvara Shine. For Buddhists, this is a very special shrine and often they spend much time here.
Those who choose to spend 2 days will enjoy the simple and clean accommodations of the Fo Guang Shan dormitories. The Fo Guang Shan Monastery is vegetarian. Whether you are vegetarian or not, you will find the food delicious and ample. If you have never explored the Fo Guang Shan Monastery, it is worth spending time touring the facility. I would also suggest you might enjoy having lunch or dinner with the monks.
Seashore Park in Taitung, Taiwan
One of the most peaceful parks in Taiwan can be found in Taitung, Taiwan. Seashore Park has amazing beaches, rivers, and paved paths with which to relax. Here you can take in some of the most beautiful landscapes on the island. There are many bike paths close to the beach which twist and turn, going up and down. This is a very romantic park and the perfect place for couples to spend time together. There are many areas for the family, including special places for the children. This will provide the perfect get-a-way for the whole family.
A perfect day begins at the Paposogan Walkway or Bamboo Walkway in English. This unique walkway has the most interesting workmanship. Many just like to sit close by and contemplate how this spectacular cane walkway was built. Couples like to come here at night to just walk hand in hand. There are many small lights in the cane that make this a very romantic place to spend time together. Many find it a perfect location to pop the question. Sometimes you will see an outdoor wedding taking place. For sure, you will experience another one of Taiwan’s peaceful moments.
Adjacent to Seashore Park is Forest Park. There you will find acres of untouched beautiful natural woods. The canopy of trees sways slightly, as the ocean breezes blow. You will find the beauty and essence of nature in this magnificent forest. Locals like to call this park “Black Forest” because of the hundreds of Beefwood Trees that grow here. There are many paved walking paths throughout the forest. In the center of the park is a peaceful lake. Lake Pipa is fed by an all natural spring. There is a nice viewing platform for viewing this peaceful and serene lake. You will also find a day-use cabin and a boardwalk which goes around the lake. If you are needing to rest and relax from a busy work week, this is the perfect place to spend a few peaceful moments.
Taitung East Rift Valley
Endless Sky, Green Fields, and Coastal Mountains are what you will see at the Taitung East Rift Valley in Taiwan’s east coastal mountains. These bountiful mountains conceal many different Aboriginal cultures, the Hakka, and the mainland Chinese. These diverse cultures have lived in harmony and peace for hundreds of years. In the village of Yuli, you will find The Tobacco House Barn Village. Take a few moments to read and learn about the history of raising tobacco in this area, as well as the methods that work the best.
Each summer the Amis Tribe hosts a harvest festival. The Amis are very musical and have many events that spotlight all the different native instruments, as well as the fantastic tribal dances. This is a festival that you will not want to miss. There are many places where you can taste the amazing foods of the Amis during the festival. There are also restaurants that feature the local Amis Cuisine. The food is different but excellent. They make use of many of the local greens that grow in the forest as well as a beautiful native flower to the area. A night with the Amis is an unforgettable experience.
The lake in Yunshan Shui is extraordinary at any time of the year. It is beautiful as it takes on many of the colors of the mountain that are behind it. Near-by Lake Liyu is a gorgeous mountain lake. Many people come here to linger and enjoy nature at it’s best. This is one of the most peaceful places on the island. The lakes and the streams that feed them are crystal clear. It is from this, that the village of Mukumugi gets its name. This is where many of the Taroko Tribe have lived for years.
If traveling the East Rift Valley in the summertime, the area around the village of Chikeshan is like a sea of orange daylilies. It is a spectacular sight to behold. This area in the summer becomes one of the most colorful areas on the East Coast of Taiwan. With the deep green jungle forest as a background, it is exquisite. It is a favorite place for locals and travelers spending time in the area. While in the valley, be sure to end your perfect day by watching the sunset at nearby Liushidan Shan.
For those adventurers that desire something a little beyond the ordinary, there is an incredible and exciting rafting trip on the Xiuguluan River. If you love whitewater rafting and are an experienced rafter, then you will find this a thrilling and exciting experience. It is a memory that will stay with you for a lifetime.
If you seek outdoor adventure, Taiwan’s many unique and fascinating adventures are waiting. Taiwan has many outdoor explorations that will allow you to meet and mingle with others who enjoy outdoor adventure. There is paragliding, rock climbing, hiking, and mountain biking. For those who enjoy the water, there are many kayak and canoe trips down both slow and fast rivers. Even the less athletic will enjoy the many bays and river cruises found throughout the island. Whatever you enjoy, it is waiting in Taiwan.
The beauty and peace of the East River Valley and the Coastal Mountain Range is amazing. It is beyond words. If you love the outdoors, desire solitude and tranquility, then this is the area for you. The mountains are spectacular! The sunsets are alluring. The valley is an astonishing array of colors throughout the summer. The greens are greener. The blues bluer. This is one of the most spectacular parts of Taiwan.
There is also a scenic train ride into the area that stops at all of the homestays and hostels. Whatever you choose to explore, you will not be disappointed. Taiwan is a land of beauty, peace, and tranquility. If you have never been to Taiwan, this would be a perfect year to plan that next adventure. Now, is a perfect time, to make those travel plans.
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