Today the children visited Shuang Lin Monastery that was founded in 1898. This temple has been designated as a heritage site in Singapore.
This decorated archway was crafted by Chinese craftsmen. It was explained that the lions at the entrance are auspicious statues as it wards away bad luck.
Within the monastery there is wishing pond, shaped like half a moon, with nine dragons and a bell. The surface of the clear water reflects the wall and many go to the pond to reflect on their lives.
The pond brings about good health and wealth with the ritual of throwing a coin into the well under the bell.
At the entrance, there are drums carved in stone wards off natural disasters. In the past, people used actual drums to warn others of natural disasters. This is why the drums are symbolic of warding off natural disasters.
The main entrance has three doors and the Buddhist guardians are painted on them as a form of protection. The practice is that one should step over the threshold with the left foot first when entering and with the right foot first when leaving the premises.
The children were respectful as they walked quietly along the corridors of the temple and whispering whenever they needed to say or ask something.
The wooden fish hung along the corridor was used as a gong to signal to everyone in the monastery that it was meal time.
The children observed the different statues of the gods in the Mahavira Hall.
Bronze Incense Stick holder filled with incense ash.
The children watched as a visitor lit a joss stick and placed it within the bronze incense stick holder. They learnt that one would pray to the heavens first before praying to the gods.
They entered the shrine of the Goddess of Mercy who is known to have a thousand hands and eyes as it represents her character of being helpful and kind.
Dragon Light Pagoda
Ding Lao Shi explained to the children that the Pagoda has 7 Levels, and has eight sides. There are bells on the different levels which will chime when the wind blows.