Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Walter Mason Takes Us on a Spiritual Journey Through Vietnam - Adyar Bookshop Sept. 29

A Spiritual Journey Through Vietnam
Adyar Booksop
99 Bathurst St (Upstairs)
6.30pm Free Entry
Thursday 29th September

Join Walter Mason, author of Destination Saigon, on an incredible illustrated journey through the rich spiritual life of Vietnam.
Walter will be talking about the diverse mystical traditions of the Vietnamese people, from the stark discipline of Zen Buddhist monasteries to the wild colour and controlled chaos of Cao Dai, the indigenous religion of southern Vietnam.
This is a rare opportunity to see unknown and hidden parts of this beautiful country and discover aspects of Vietnam's culture and history that you'll never discover in a travel guide.

Private shrine inside a senior Buddhist monk's room, Vietnam.

Outdoor shrine to Maitreya, the Buddha of the future, Central Vietnam.

Statue of the Earth Mother, a folk religious figure, Ho Chi Minh City.

Shrine to Kwan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy, Hoai Nhon.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Entrance, Benedictine Monastery, Thu Duc

A place I spend a lot of my time in Vietnam is the Benedictine monastery in Thu Duc, just outside of Ho Chi Minh City.
It is hidden down a quiet, sandy laneway, and taxis can almost never find it.
It's the perfect place to spend a day, though it can get a little busy - people seem to come from everywhere to visit this place.
I mention the monastry a couple of times in my book, Destination Saigon. It's the place where the monks drag out the big mahogany chairs whenever I come to lunch.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A Di Da Phat

This is a pic of the Amitabha Tower that my friend designed and built at his temple in Quy Nhon City after he had a prophetic dream.
Amitabha Buddha is the central focus of worship in Vietnamese Mahayana Buddhism. The worship of Amitabha is a characteristic of the Pure Land School of Buddhism, though in reality it is very rare for any particular school to be practiced exclusively in Vietnam. Most teach a combination of various schools, which is the prevalent mode throughout East Asia, including in Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan and China.