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Archive for June 10th, 2010

万寿塔是张掖市内的地标之一,也是市民早晨锻炼的好去处。

 

处于河西走廊上的张掖是古丝绸路上的主要城市之一,也是当年佛教盛传时的中心之一,市内有全国最大的睡佛,佛身长35米,肩宽7.5米,耳朵长约4米。离市中心约60公里外的马蹄寺风景区,有西凉时期开凿的石窟佛寺群,散落在山区间100平方公里区域内。这几天我老老实实地当个游客,掏钱买门票看景点,拍了些照片算是对得起花的门票钱吧!    

张掖市大佛寺的入口处。

 

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和老居士对话

78岁的老居士每年夏天都到千佛洞寺院长住修行。

 

“你太适合了,一个人无牵无挂,出家的条件好。”一名78岁的老居士,坐在千佛洞寺院里和我聊天时如是说。她是我这路上遇到唯一的,就我不婚不要孩子的人生选择,表示热烈赞同的老太太。 

她是等到老伴过世了,6个儿女和3个孙子们都长大自立成家后,才选择到寺院里长住的。每年夏天,来自张掖的她,都会到60公里外的马蹄寺景区内的千佛洞住上半年,在寺院里修行和做点义务工作,她的职责安排是打扫寺院卫生和向游客售卖佛教用品和佛学书籍。 

她皈依佛教也是近十几年的事。年少时,宗教是一个飘渺虚无甚至禁忌的东西;年老时,生活条件宽裕了,把孩子孙子们都拉扯大了后,开始想为自己而活。 

“现在我不再操心孩子们了,我就操心我自己,修身养性,积点功德。”她这样解释自己脱离儿孙们,独自到寺院生活的选择。即便到了冬天,当马蹄乡变得寒风刺骨,她也只是回到张掖人去楼空的老家,单独生活修佛,不想麻烦儿孙们。她说:“还我自由。” (more…)

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Near the city center of Zhangye – located along the ancient Silk Road – stands a white statue wearing a Roman robe, and underneath it spells the name “Ma Ke Bo Luo”. Next to it is a road named the European-Style Street.          

The Roman characters inscribed underneath the statue are: "Ma Ke Bo Luo", which is Marco Polo's name in Chinese pinyin.

 

Both the statue and the street are in honor of the famed Italian traveler Marco Polo, who had visited Zhangye over 700 years ago; and the Italian mentioned at length in his travelogue about the City’s main attraction – a giant reclining Buddha measuring 35 meters.          

But the European-Style Street is perhaps the tackiest part of the otherwise lovely City. There’s nothing Europe about the street except the endless Roman pillars supporting the shop houses lining the street, all adorn with huge Chinese signboards.          

The street, however, has turned into a happening spot for the slow-pace City well known for its ancient wooden pagoda and giant Buddha temple. Cafes, bars and pubs, and swanky eateries flourished, and the clientele are mostly the yuppies in town.          

Buildings with Roman pillars lined the European-Style Street.

 

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