One of the things I miss about living in Japan is having jinjas/temples easily accessible whenever I wanted.
I always loved the quiet atmosphere, the serene, pure feeling that each jinja gave off.
So…since going to a jinja whenever I was in trouble is not a feasible thing to do while living in NYC (can’t fly to Japan every time I’m in need), I decided to research further t see if there were any Buddhist temples here in NYC. I knew that some of my students grew up with Buddhist temples in Texas and other parts of the U.S., so I decided to research further and see.
During the winter, I found a Guan Yin temple here in NYC and went to it. I was always curious about the building and I was glad to see the BIGGEST, golden….
of Guan Yin.
But even so, that temple and this other one I went to, although relieved to be in a temple, did not quite ‘feel’ like Japan, in the same way. The air seemed less dense and I guess the ‘vibes’ were different. Not that it was a bad thing, but I guess I just couldn’t quite get my ‘Japan fix’ in the same way I was able to get it through my select matcha cafes here in NYC.
Recently though, I found out through another friend that there’s apparently a HUGE ASS Buddhist temple in the middle of nowhere, North of Jersey.
So I OF COURSE, wanted to see what this was in person and go.
With the taikai and things coming up, and the less likely chance of going to Japan any time soon, I decided to really put it in my schedule to go.
I went there, and omg.
I legit felt like I was back in China.
The walkway was pretty awesome, the statues, the exterior, everything…was awesome.
The one thing that stood out to me was the wide, stone floor of the temple. It just reminded me of that scene from, “Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story” when Bruce Lee was teaching a mass army of students outdoors.
I, of course, had to strike a pose (the little of my tai chi that I remembered from like 13 years ago) on that floor, and pretend to be in a Wong Fei Hong movie 😛
The temple itself, felt a lot like the Kuan Yin temple I went to in the city. The feeling was different, despite being in the middle of nowhere, and not quite like Japan. However, I appreciated the nature, architecture, and the spaciousness.
I had zero clue how to pray to the deities in the Chinese way…so I just did what I do in Japan, since the Gods, in theory, should be able to ‘feel’ what you are feeling.
I noticed some Japanese momiji there, and there was a bunch of BIG, BLACK, KOI xD I saw some nice gold and orange/white ones. That was real cool.
I also saw my homegurl Year of the Rabbit Bodhisattva 😛 Couldn’t pray to her though, since she was just a painting, but it’s all good. Didn’t see Fudomyo, though.
I totally wanna go back there and spend the whole day there again, sitting out in nature. I also loved this lil “Tea House” thingy that was outside. It literally reminded me of the Astor Court at the MET.
Next time, I’ll bring some manju and tea 😛 yum yum.
I’m glad I got to do some 御祈り and see a new place. I was surprised that the temple didn’t sell any お守り, since I got some at that Tibetan Buddhist temple in Beijing.
At the end of they day though, I had to conclude it with a matcha latte…whoopsies. Not surprising, though: