Nan Hua Buddhist Temple, Buddhist Temple, Bronkhorstspruit

Nan Hua Buddhist Temple: Śākyamuni handed me a new pair of shoes

My obscured mind can't see the light; my intrinsic nature is buried deeply under a modern world, this same conditioned world has left a big stain... Like little boats we drift on the ocean surface without bearing, to shores unknown. You better find your Home soon!

Situated next to the highway are these strange looking buildings. The architectural design is different from the norm; maybe you've seen it on television before, but out here it looks totally out of place. I must have passed this place about a hundred times before and never could I've imagined myself visiting it. I was curious though, but not too curious. Sometimes we stand next to a familiar face (at a bus stop) without recognizing it; the doctor prescribes medicine that you never actually take; somebody gives you sincere advice without paying attention; strange looking buildings beckons but you choose to look the other way—'I’m on my way to a more important place.'

The daily bump-and-grind strips away the good in all of us, it reduces us to mere lost souls. Our true identity never surfaces and we get old and tired, slouching forward until our last breathe. The conditioned world has created its own pace: light becomes dark; right becomes wrong, and wrong the new right. 'We're on a road to nowhere', sounds the refrain from the well known song by the Talking Heads.

Sometimes the fear of something new is more overwhelming than the pain we are suffering. Sometimes we are too afraid to let go and get a new grip on life. How far are we prepared to walk with small rocks in our shoes before the excruciating pain halts us in our tracks. With an intense gaze at the world outside, I would say very far. We only know what we know, but, by discovering new things we also discover ourselves—a big and brighter world awaits us all.

Next to the highway stood a compassionate looking man, dressed in something strange, rather unique. I wanted to pass him by, but something pulled me to the side of the road like an invisible force, as if he was waiting specifically for me. Immediately after stopping he handed me a new pair of shoes and told me his name—'I'm the Buddha, and over there is my Home.' Pointing to the outlandish architecture. Are you prepared to pull over and discover your Buddha nature? See you all at the Nan Hua Temple!

Words & Photos: Adriaan & Martine Venter (Nan Hua Buddhist Temple, Bronkhorstspruit, 2012/02/26, 57 images)