Archive | May, 2013

The five Buddhas

31 May

“The five Buddha’s of Confidence, Longevity, Wisdom, Inner Beauty and Peace grace the shrine with 10,000 smaller Buddha’s, showing that everyone can achieve Buddhahood.

Li-Bu-Wei Buddha

Amitabha Buddha

Tuo-Pao Buddha

Miao-Se-Shen Buddha

Gan-Lu-Wang Buddha
This Buddha’s symbolic direction is east. He signifies confidence and fearlessness. The hands are in a mudra of appeasement or consolation. With the daily occurrence of violence and natural disaster around the world, many people find it difficult to face the future. The tranquility gained from following the Buddha’s way better enables one to remain calm; like a mountain unmoved by ravaging elements, one can approach each day without fear.
This Buddha’s symbolic direction is west and his hands are in a mudra of concentration. He signifies infinite light and boundless life. Amitabha Buddha presides over the Western Pure Land. Praying to Amitabha Buddha improves one’s constitution and increases longevity. With sincere and continued practice of Buddhist principles, upon death one will go to the blissful Western Pure Land to spend each day learning and living the Dharma.

This Buddha symbolizes the central direction and represents wealth. The hands are in a mudra of the ceremony of unction. Humans’ craving for material wants is often a futile exercise. At best, the joy derived from materialism is short lived. Developing wisdom through following the Buddha’s teachings, however, can attain true wealth and fulfillment.

This Buddha’s symbolic direction is south. His hands are in a mudra of touching the ground, which symbolizes Sakyamuni Buddha’s resolve to overcome the temptations of Mara and thereby gain supreme enlightenment. He represents beautiful things, and is physically beautiful. The practice of Buddhism cultivates inner beauty and sincerity. This in turn results in a more relaxed and pleasing outward form.

This Buddha’s symbolic position is north. He signifies calmness and purity. His hands are in a mudra of casting out fear. Life’s problems can overtake the mind. In the interest of survival, one must seek escape. Unfortunately, running away offers only temporary respite and is not a true solution to life. The teachings of the Buddha can purify and calm the mind so that former problems no longer seem so wildly out of control.

http://www.nantien.org.au:88/en/facility/main-shrine

Main Shrine is the most important building and also called the Great Hero Hall. When we see the steps before the shrine, it reminds us of our aim to gain enlightenment. One cannot be given enlightenment, we have to gain it ourselves. It might take many many lifetimes and we have to take each step at a time steadily, it will be a long way but we ought to make those steps ourselves.”

I copied the above from the Website of the nantien.org.

Below is the picture post card of the five Buddhas which I already published previously.

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Towards the End of May

29 May
This is near the entrance of the Great Hall where the five Buddhas are.

This is near the entrance of the Great Hall where the five Buddhas are.

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I bought a card with the five Buddhas on it. So this is just a copy of the card. At the back of the card it says:

“Nan Tien Temple is the largest Buddhist Temple in the Southern Hemisphere. It is also known as ‘Southern Paradise’. The Temple has evolved into a harmonious place where the East and West meet and merge. . . . .”

Nan Tien Temple, Berkeley Road, Berkeley, NSW, 2506, Australia, http://www.nantien.org.au

We’ve seen David yesterday. The place where he’s staying is called Nursing Home now. I think previously it was called Age Care Facility. David is still in te same room where we’ve seen him before. He was asleep when we arrived. The first thing he said when he woke up was: ‘I have a Mother’s Day Gift for Mama.’

This is the gift David gave me.

This is the gift David gave me.

I was thrilled that he had thought of me. And he had waited since Mothers’ Day for our arrival so he could hand me his gift! He wrote out a Mothers’ Day card for me as well! Well, Mother’s Day had been more than two weeks ago. His birthday was on the 8th of May. On the same day it is also his sister Kathy’s birthday. Kathy is ten years younger than David. His brother Anthony has been appointed David’s guardian. Anthony told him that Kathy was going to visit him soon. She lives a bit further away from Sydney now. David is very much looking forward to his sister’s visit, I think. His friend Steve had also seen him a couple of times already. And of course Anthony would see him on a regular basis.

We were able to sit with David outside in a sunny courtyard. A nursing help ask him whether he’d like to have his lunch outside. David did like it that lunch was brought there. The friendly help wanted to tie a large bib around his neck. But he indicated that he didn’t need it. David ended up not eating very much.

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Today we started trimming some of the trees. After about one hour we thought that we had done enough gardening for the day. Tomorrow we are going to do a bit more gardening.

Uta at the Gratitude Bell

28 May

In Peter’s blog the picture of me at the gratitude bell is very small. So here is now an enlarged version of it:

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I also had a couple of pictures with Peter at the bell. Unfortunately these pictures with Peter did get lost and I can’t show them.

Diary, Autumn 2013

27 May
Beautiful Illawarra in Autumn

Beautiful Illawarra in Autumn

This picture was taken on Sunday, 26th May. We took lots of pictures walking around the grounds of the Nan Tien Temple. The view across to the escarpment was excellent on this crisp, sunny autumn day.

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Off and on we heard the sound of a bell. And then we saw this sign pointing to a walkway up the hill. Peter was straight away keen on going up there. He asked me: ‘Can you make it up there?’ I assured him I could. I didn’t regret it that I walked all the way up to the Gratitude Bell. It was a great experience to make the bell sound over the landscape. Heaps of younger people overtook us on the way up and sounded the bell before us. Others were on their way down already. Once we were up there we were soon the only ones left. We hadn’t noticed anyone walking up there a bit closer to our age. Everyone seemed to be a lot younger than we!

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Today Peter announced we could go and see David tomorrow. I was so happy that we finally set a date for this visit, that’s been long overdue. Anyhow this leaves Wednesday/Thursday for us to do a bit of gardening. On Friday I’m going to have my friends coming over for our games afternoon. Last Saturday I managed to go to the pool for a bit. I wonder whether I’ll get a chance this week to do a bit of swimming. At the very least I want to fit in a bit of walking again, also the exercise class from 12 to one o’clock on Thursday.

About Me, Uta

27 May

“You’re so vain. You probably think Nan Tien Temple is about you.”

This is the message I just received from wordpress.  And they are right, aren’t they? I am so vain that I think Nan Tien Temple is about me! It certainly is. Did you notice the little photo where I am just about to push this thing to make the Gratitude Bell go off? Well, this is about me!

As I did make the bell sound across the landscape I was thinking of my parents and all my ancestors. What a marvellous journey I’ve had to come to this bell on such a beautiful Day as we experienced yesterday.

Christmas Eve 1943

24 May

Christmas Eve 1943

I have a photo which was taken in Tante Ilse’s livingroom. We were all sitting together for Christmas Eve celebrations. I gather Mrs T. took the picture since she isn’t in it. The photo is proof that my grandmother from Leipzig and cousin Renate were with us for Christmas 1943. Grandma is on the left, beside Grandma is Werner M, then Tante Ilse and cousin Renate. On the right is Mr T and beside him Mum. The children are 8 year old Edith T and my brother Bodo. I am in the picture too: You can see me holding up one of my Käthe-Kruse-Dolls. Mum had knitted a lovely new dress for this doll.

In the weeks before Christmas Mum loved to do some sewing of clothes as well as a lot of knitting for us children. When she did this we were not allowed in the living-room because she wanted the gifts to be a surprise for Christmas Eve. That meant of course that we had to be very, very patient. Naturally we thought Christmas Eve would never come!

My Friends in 1947/48

24 May

At age thirteen my best friends were Cordula and Lieselotte. The three of us had formed a guild. We met several times a week. None of us had a boy-friend. However we talked about what it would be like to experience romance.  Just talking about it was very exciting!

One afternoon the three of us had our picture taken at a photographer’s. I still have this picture. Looking at this picture brings back memories how much at ease I felt then. Yet this Threesome lasted for a short time only. Cordula had already lost her dad. All of a sudden her mum died too. How upsetting for her! She moved away to live with her aunts in West-Germany. The departure happened so quickly that there wasn’t time to say good-buy. I felt shocked about it. Yet I sensed that there had been a need for the sudden departure.

The blockade of West- Berlin followed and I was air-lifted to West-Germany to live with Dad and Aunty Lies and her family. When I returned to Berlin I had no idea how Lieselotte was doing because we had completely lost touch. She had already turned fifteen and had left school to take up a job. Quite by chance I once noticed her walking along the street arm in arm with a boy-friend. I cannot recall what she wore, but she looked very grown up to me. I never thought of approaching her.

I continued to go to the same girls’ high-school. Many girls in my class were talking about their boy-friends. I did not have a boy-friend and did not have a clue, how on earth I could ever get to know some-one from the opposite sex. I stuck to day-dreaming. In my mind I fantasised about romantic meetings: I loved making up conversations with an interesting young man!

I had hardly any money to spend on clothes or make-up. I felt very inferior to other girls, who all seemed to be better off.

Uta and her friends 1947

I liked to keep my hair long and just a little bit permed. I was astonished and gratified when a girl in my class said she liked my hair-style.

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