Buddhists in symbolic cross-Straits exchange

Updated: 2013-06-28 17:43

By Yan Yiqi in Zhoushan, Zhejiang province (chinadaily.com.cn)

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Buddhist associations from both Taiwan and the Chinese mainland were involved in a gesture heavy with symbolism on Thursday.

Taiwan’s Ling Jiou Mountain Buddhist Society brought a Tara Guanyin statue to Putuo Mountain, one of China’s four Buddhist mountains.

A total of 27 monks and 374 pilgrims from Taiwan accompanied the statue which is a smaller version of Ling Jiou Mountain’s iconic Guanyin statue. It will be placed in Putuo Mountain, and the gesture marks deepening exchanges.

Master Jing Min, president of the Zhoushan Buddhist Association, said that the event marks an increasing willingness from both parties to communicate.

“This year is the 30th anniversary of Ling Jiou Mountain’s founding, and the Buddhism of Putuo Mountain has a history spanning 1,200 years. This communication between old and new Buddhist mountains will bring about something new,” he said.

“Buddhism is an important part of Chinese culture. We hope this kind of activity can also bring more cultural exchanges in other aspects,” he said.

Master Hsin Tao, founder of Ling Jiou Mountain Buddhist Society, said that cultural exchanges from both sides of the Taiwan Straits should be carried out through exchanges between civil societies.

“Temples should not be buildings for people to worship Buddha, but also a means to link Taiwan and the Chinese mainland. We have the same cultural roots, as well as Buddhist roots, and the similarity should be made use of,” he said.

Master Hsin Tao expressed his hopes that annual exchanges will be continued.

Lai Huei-lien, a pilgrim from Taiwan, said the trip was enlightening.