Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism are the foundation of the Chinese culture. However, the changing of history and western technology advancement have given a big shock to Chinese culture and put us in the moral predicament. We visited to different eminent monks who shared their stories of devotion so as to find a guidance of life in these Chinese philosophical thinking.
Mount Wutai (30’)
Among the four main famous sacred Buddhist mountains in China, Mount Wutai is the only mountain which many emperors had gone there personally. Emperors of past dynasties built pagodas on Mount Wutai, resulting in many royal monasteries. As Mount Wutai develops, it eventually becomes a unique cultural sight where the Han Buddhism and Tibetan Buddhism co-exist and many different monasteries are present. At this place, be it the Chinese or Tibetans; be it exoteric Buddhism or esoteric Buddhism, all can find suitable pilgrimages and places for spiritual practice.
Mount Tiantai and Guoqing Temple (30’)
There are four famous and recognised sacred Buddhist mountains in China, which are Wutai, Emei, Jiuhua and Putuo. However, to the Englishman, Timothy Richard, there is another famous Buddhist mountain and it holds a higher status than the other four mountains. During the Qing Dynasty, Timothy Richard was a missionary in China for 45 years. In his memoirs, "Ten years of experiences in the late Qing Dynasty", this was written. "Mount Tiantai is a religious centre in the East that is on par with holy lands like Jerusalem and Mecca..."
Baizhang Temple (30’)
Zen master during the Tang Dynasty, Huai Hai, meditated in Baizhang Temple for two decades. He wrote and revised the monastic rules of Baizhang and gained considerable reputation. That attracted countless people who were interested in learning the way of Zen, thus creating a sensation. The formulation of "Monastic rules of Baizhang" promotes the development and rise of Zen Buddhism, establishing the founder status of Baizhang Temple in Zen Buddhism. Emperors of past dynasties had conferred titles or ordered the construction of Baizhang Temple. These make Baizhang Temple renowned to the Buddhist community in China and abroad.
Buddhism in Xishuangbanna Region (30’)
Theravada Buddhism was introduced into Xishuangbanna region in Yunnan of China at around the seventh century. In its thousands of years of heritage, it gradually becomes the religion of the minority ethnic groups such as the Dai people. However, during the Cultural Revolution, the Dai people's faith in religion was sorely tested. How does an ethnic group restore their faith in their religion? Can the establishment of Buddhist colleges solve the problem of diminishing number of monks?
Why Are We Unhappy? (30’)
In this world, most people swing between happiness and unhappiness frequently at most of the times. However, inside Hongfa Temple in Shenzhen, there is a group of people who gradually finds stable happiness in sword skills. Lin Qiongli, who is now a jewellery dealer and tea merchant, was once the vice president of a large state-owned enterprise. To the outside world, it seems that she has wealth and fame. She has everything, except happiness. It was until one day when something happened that she started reconsidering the meaning of life.
Temples in Hong Kong (30’)
In today's society, women's status has been greatly elevated. How does Buddhism view women? How do nuns or women who are practising Buddhism at home break free from the shackles of tradition and reality to exude brilliance in the Buddhist community and the secular world? Wisdom from the East visits the nunneries in China and Hong Kong to find out their features and highlights.
The Bells and Poem of Hanshan Temple (30’)
Hanshan Temple is a small temple. It isn't the birthplace of Buddhism, but it becomes well-known because of a mere poem. The Chinese are familiar with the bells of Hanshan Temple because they have traversed Chinese civilization for more than 1500 years. Foreigners are familiar with the bells as well because the poem, "A Night Mooring by Maple Bridge", makes it well-known. Hanshan Temple and the poem complement each other. The bells and poem of Hanshan stretch beyond thousands of years.