Thursday, January 21, 2010

Rest Sanctuaries in FGS

Various water features such as waterfall, pond and fountain can be found in the compound of Dong Zen Fo Guang Shan monastery. The water features adds tranquility, reflection and ambiance to its landscape. It provides restful sanctuaries to those who seek for serenity to meditate or read.

Close to the Main Shrine Hall is this pond with a tall rock feature in the middle of it. The rock boulders are arranged beautifully in a triangular manner, allowing plants such as money plant, spider lily to grow in between the rocks and water to flow into the fish pond. Koi fishes with wonderful patterned of red, orange, yellow and black were swimming happily in the pond. It's fun to watch the active koi fishes. It is also calming to listen to the water trickling into the pond. The breeze was swaying the willow branches that are reaching low towards the pond. The combination of water, greens, fishes and rocks create a peaceful, soothing spot for quiet reflection. Everthing tends to slow down when one is surrounded by such environment. It is nice if we can have such garden in office buildings where workers can always go to during their lunch break and enjoy a peaceful moment, calming down their active working mind before going back to their work terminal again.

Multi-coloured orchids have been planted bordering this pond, in preparation for the Floral Festival that will begin on 10 Feb. A bed of Cat's whiskers are planted beside the pond as seen in the forefront of the photo below. There is a plank walkway for one to walk across with grillings painted in yellow & green resembling bamboo. Rows of lanterns lining the edge of this section makes the place looks festive and ready for the Chinese New Year celebration which is less than a month away.

In a quiet corner of the monastery is a water lily pond. It has the figurine of a little boy holding a lily leave above its head.

Next to this pond is a wall lined with dragon heads spouting water with LED-lit dolphins lining the whole pond. The curvy flower bed and the two different coloured plants (green & maroon) add to the attraction of this spot in the monastery.

The LED-lit dolphins and this wall is beautifully lit-up on the first night of our stay at this monastery. This is the scene that visitors will be treated to during the Floral Fest.

Trees lined up across this water feature provide shades to visitors to sit underneath those trees and enjoy the sound of the water.

I look forward to returning to Fo Guang Shan Monastery again during the Floral Festival. I believe the garden would look more stunning than what are seen here. There are some more photos from other parts of the garden in this monastery that I will share in my next posting. Meanwhile, I hope you will continue your blogging and gardening!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Dong Zen Fo Guang Shan - Squash Garden

Dong Zen Fo Guang Shan is a monastery located in Jenjarom, Selangor. We were fortunate to have the support of this monastery when we organized a Buddhist youth exchange programme in this premise from Jan 1-10. That is the reason why I have been missing from blogging lately. We had the opportunity to stay in the dormitories of this monastery during our one-week programme there.

The nuns, monks, students and staffs who live here lead a very disciplined lifestyle. Their days start early. As early as 5.30am, they are already gathered at the main shrine hall for morning chanting. Breakfast is at 7am. The meals served are all vegetarian and don't let that deceive you coz the food here are so delicious that we didn't find ourselves missing out on meat. The monastery compound is so serene and beautifully landscaped. I would like to take the opportunity to share with you what I have enjoyed during my stay there.

For a start, today I will share with you the little squash garden in Dong Zen Fo Guang Shan. There are miniature pumpkins and miniature bottle gourds. The former is usually used as offerings during prayers. The latter is grown for ornamental use. It can be used as a container or for decorative purposes after the fruit has dried and seeds have been removed. The size of the gourd was no more than 1 foot in length. Both plants look beautiful with their climbing vines and hanging squashes.


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