A Visit to Bealey Valley by Students of Srimara

On the 2nd day of their tour of South Island, to allow the visitors to experience the natural beauty of New Zealand, FGS NZ Venerable Abbess Manshin specially arranged Venerable Rudi and the Srimara students to go for a brisk walking trip at Arthurs Pass. Upon arrival at the valley, the visitors were greeted by drizzle. However, this had not dampened their spirit. In fact, to the contrary, they enjoyed the misty fairy-tale scenery of the New Zealand countryside in drizzle.

After dinner, Minister-in-Charge Venerable Juexi shared with the students her experiences in the propagation of Humanistic Buddhism in New Zealand. The venerable remarked that FGS South Island is the southern-most FGS Temple in the world and the one nearest to the Antarctica. In the early days, most of the explorers from Britain and Norway used to depart from South Island New Zealand, sailed to Ross Bay before landing at Antarctica. On their way, they had to sail through the roaring sea between latitudes 40 to 50 and the furious sea between latitudes 50 to 60, and also had to endure the screaming of the sea between latitudes 60 to 70, before finally reaching the Continent. After successfully landed on the Continent, they would be greeted with a serene, beautiful, wild and gorgeous land. Venerable said that the Antarctica symbolises our Buddha Nature within which can only be reached through overcoming endless challenges and tests in the process of Dharma cultivation.

Venerable Juexi later introduced to the students the design concept of FGS South Island Temple. The 4 Bodhisattva statues at the front represent the practice while walking, standing, sitting and lying. They were placed in the recessed areas of the external frontal wall of the temple. The building was designed to be simple and yet with energy. When the materials used were as close to their natural state as possible, the building would be as close to the people as possible. FGS South Island Buddhist temple is a beauty born out of purity and simplicity. The Srimara College students finally understood the artistic and spiritual aspects of the building, and also recognised the rich and multi-facet involvements in propagation of Humanistic Buddhism overseas.