Guide to Temple Tales Articles
from the Shenzhen Daily

From June of 2015 to October of 2017 I was commissioned by the Shenzhen Daily to write articles, not specifically about the places I'd been, but about the types of things one would see in temples, whether Buddhist or Daoist/Folk. (You may be more used to seeing "Taoist"; the spelling with a "D" is the one used in Mainland China.) These included the buildings, statues, historical figures, symbols, and other features.

The column was titled "Temple Tales"; that's part of the heading above.

As the topics were chosen more or less at random, there is no particular "sequence" to the articles, though I did in fact write some of them in groups (e.g. the Eight Immortals were all covered in a row).

So I have grouped them here by topic. Because some articles fall into more than one category, they may appear more than once here. For example, Guanyin is a Bodhisattva; Amitabha is a Buddha. So the article "Guanyin and Amitabha" appears twice, under both categories.

Click the heading and all articles with that tag will be shown. Many titles have been shortened or summarized.

I hope you will enjoy exploring these very short pieces!

Click a link to "jump" down the page, or simply scroll on down.

The Character for "Buddha" Sleeping Buddha Amitabha and Guanyin
Prince Sattva and the Tiger The Pagoda Three Sages of the West
Birth of Shakyamuni Buddha's Footprints Huayan Hall
Ascetic Shakyamuni Buddhas of the Three Times Medicine Buddha
Earth-Touching Shakyamuni Altar in the Main Hall Laughing Buddha
Deer and Dharma Wheel Ananda and Kashyapa Vairocana
The First Five Monks Amitabha and the Lotus Swastika

Guanyin's* Many Forms Dizang* Around the Main Hall
Thousand-Armed Guanyin Wenshu* Huayan Hall
Eleven-Headed Guanyin Mi'le Pusa Qielan Hall
Guanyin's Leap Royal Ease Jigong
Guanyin and Amitabha Three Sages of the West Lotus Lore
Puxian* Main Altar Yama (and Dizang)

The Dragon King

*These are the "Four Great Bodhisattvas"

500 Arhats Budai and Qixiang* Kanmen and Jingzuo*
Eighteen Arhats Qilu and Xiaoshi* Luoholuo*
Around the Main Hall Tuota and Bajiao* Tiger and Dragon Arhats*
Jivaka* Jubo and Xiqing* Tiger and Dragon
Changmei and Tanshou* Guojiang and Wa'er* Jigong

*Members of the group called "The Eighteen Arhats"

Heng and Ha Around the Main Hall The Far-Seeing HK*
Weituo Brahma Palace at Wuxi The Closely-Listening HK*
Qielan Mahakala "Black Cloak" The Country-Supporting HK*
Guan Yu The Four Heavenly Kings The Growth-Enhancing HK*

*These are the "Four Great Heavenly Kings"

MONKS (Historical and Legendary)
See the "Arhats" for more

Dizang Konghai Huineng's Ordination
The First Five Monks Jigong Xuyun
Ananda and Kashyapa Kumarajiva Hongyi
Lotus Lore Patriarchs' Hall Master Ji Qun 1
What is Zen? Part 1 Bodhidharma Master Ji Qun 2
What is Zen? Part 2 Huike Monks of Lin Feng Temple
Xuanzang Huineng's Refuge Rock Lingshan Scenic Area
Jianzhen Huineng's Poetry Competition Bridges

The Central Axis Other Halls Miscellaneous Features
Screen Wall Outside the Courtyard Bridges
Mountain Gate Chan Hall Free Life Pond
Heavenly Kings Hall Huayan Hall Buddhist Hells
Laughing Buddha Patriarchs' Hall Discarded Deities
The Bell Tower Qielan Hall Ashoka Pillars
Main Courtyard Three Sages Hall Deer and Dharma Wheel
Main Hall The Pagoda Lotus Ponds
Main Altar Sleeping Buddha Hall Prayer Wheels
Around the Courtyard 500 Arhats Hall Roof Ornaments
Dharma and Sutra Hall
Sutra Cabinets

The Character for "Buddha" Lotus 1 Ashoka Pillars
Buddha's Footprints Lotus 2 Deer and Dharma Wheel
The Pagoda Guanyin and Amitabha Prayer Wheels


Feilai Feng Lingshan Scenic Area Maba Man Site
Qixia Temple Brahma Palace

Immortals Gods and Goddesses Miscellany
Lu Dongbin* Mazu's Consorts Spring Cattle Hall
Li Tieguai* Guan Yu Peony Pavilion
Han Xiangzi* Qielan Tiger and Dragon
Zhongli Quan* Tu Di Gong Buddhist Hells
Cao Guojiu* Fu, Lu, and Shou Discarded Deities
He Xiangu* Door Gods
Lan Caihe* Hua Guang
Zhang Guolao* Tai Sui
Eight Immortals Cross the Sea Caishen
Guangzhou's Five Immortals Wenchang
Wong Tai Sin Yama

*One of the group called "The Eight Immortals"

SPECIAL: "What is Zen?"

Part I Part II

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