Hidden within nature, Nan Putuo Temple radiates a serene atmosphere to people in Xiamen, East China’s Fujian province.
Most would describe me as someone who would prefer to work in the faculty lounge than hang out with friends on a Friday night. When times get difficult and rough however, I often walk along the white sand beaches or hike the lush, verdant hills of Xiamen.
There was one day when the demands of my job got the better of me. I wanted to go somewhere I could be alone and reflect on life in general. This led me to a place hidden by trees and radiating a serene atmosphere. Nan Putuo is a Buddhist temple in the coastal area of Southeast China, on Xiamen Island at the foot of the Wu Lao Feng hills. It covers an area of 26 hectares with 21,000 square meters of building space.
As I walked inside I was surprised to see numerous people paying their respects to the goddess Guanyin. I never expected in this modern age where technology, work and social media are so prevalent, that faith would still have a strong hold. I thought these were tourists and not really devotees of the temple. However, by the way they prayed and raised their hands in spiritual meditation, I had no doubt they were pious believers.
When I glanced a second time toward the temple, what was now before my eyes was more than just a picturesque view. The perfect symmetry and striking balance of the building had brought me to a sudden realization. Just like the ancient Chinese philosophy of Yin and Yang, what I needed in order to live a more fulfilling life was to find a sense of balance. Suddenly, the thought of how I used to let the demands of work dominate my life flashed through my mind like a film in rewind. Then and there, I made a solemn promise to myself that in everything I do, everything has to be in moderation. There is no doubt that what had started out as a simple walk to this temple had ended in a profoundly rewarding inner-self transformation. I grabbed my camera and shot this photo of Nan Putuo temple with no intention other than to capture the moment as a lasting reminder that peace and fulfillment exists whenever everything is in harmony and balance.