Wanderlust guide to Tsz Shan Monastery in Tai Po


26th April 2019 – (Hong Kong) Tsz Shan Monastery is a Chinese Buddhist monastery established by HK philanthropist and billionaire, Li Ka Shing for the preservation of the inheritance of the Dharma preached by Śākyamuni Buddha. Planning and construction of Tsz Shan Monastery began in 2003, and it was completed more than ten years later. To date, the Foundation has contributed a total of HK$3 billion to cover the land acquisition and construction costs, as well as the Monastery’s operating expenses. Tsz Shan Monastery has been open to the public since April 2015.

The Monastery is located on a hilly site in Tai Po with an expansive sea view to the front. The core of the monastery consists of three main buildings placed along a central axis. Each building and associated courtyard is placed on platforms rising up the hill, well defined with surrounding corridors. On another axis branching off from the Grand Courtyard, devotees are led into the presence of the colossal image of Guan Yin, passing the Universal Gate Hall.

The Main Gate, the Maitreya Hall and the Grand Buddha Hall are located on the central axis of the Monastery. Situated to the sides of the Maitreya Hall, are the Drum Tower and the Bell Tower, which is also located above the Great Vow Hall. Tripitaka Library is located on the western wing of the Grand Courtyard.

The Universal Gate Hall is the second largest hall of the monastery, with a width of five bays and a height of fourteen metres. In its centre there is a wish-fulfilling, six-armed Guan Yin (Cintacakra Avalokiteśvara) statue. The walls on its two sides are carved with calligraphy recording the Ten Great Vows of bodhisattvas Samantabhadra and Guan Yin showing their deep conviction to save all sentient beings. Recorded in the sutras, Guan Yin (Avalokiteśvara) resides in Mount Potalaka. The naming of the circular Brilliance Pond in front of the Universal Gate Hall is based on this. In the form of two concentric circles, the Pond has a diameter of eight metres. While water in the Pond keeps flowing, it looks like a mirror from afar, signifying the contemplation of wisdom.

The Guan Yin (Avalokiteśvara) Statue has a height of 76 metres, comprising a 70-metre-tall bronze-cast white Guan Yin statue (including a three-tier bronze lotus platform) built upon a 6-metre high granite base. The statue is coated with white fluorocarbon self-cleaning paint and is modeled on sculptures of the Song dynasty.Guan Yin has a compassionate and graceful demeanour and on her topknot there is a small image of Amitābha, implying the blessings and protection received through his immeasurable power. In her right hand she holds a wisdom maṇi pearl and in her left hand a vase, from which she pours pure water to cleanse the phenomenal world. She wears a keyūra necklace and her clothes drape elegantly. Her body leans forward as she looks down from above on all beings, guiding them to enlightenment with her compassion and wisdom.The Compassion Path is the straight, wide pathway that stretches from the Universal Gate Hall to the Guan Yin (Avalokiteśvara) Statue. On its two sides there are eighteen aged Buddhist Pines. In the middle of the Path, right in front of the Statue, there is a large bronze water vessel known as the Thousand Wishes Pond. Visitors making a water offering to Guan Yin pour water into the Pond.

Visitors must register online in advance before you can get there. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER.

For directions to reach Tsz Shan Monastery, click HERE.

For visiting guidelines, click HERE.

Please dress appropriately when visiting Tsz Shan Monastery. Sleeved tops, trousers (but not shorts), mid-calf dresses or pants are appropriate.

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