April 1, 2017 § Leave a comment
“On Saturday March 11, 2017, I had occasion to take an Australian visitor, John Harding, on a tourist excursion, and chose to go to Chihnan Temple, the famous and historic temple of Lu Dong-ping, one of the Eight Immortals, in the hills on the southeast edge of the Taipei basin. At an elevation of about 360 meters, it is also a popular tourist destination because of the 20-minute cable car that soars over the forests of the Taipei Zoo area; and in spring the azaleas are blooming profusely. In the past ten years I have on many occasions taken foreign visitors to see the temple “seer”, Mr. Guo, who believes that his powers and knowledge are transmitted from the Immortal Lu, a deity particularly adept in medical practice; and though past incidents it could be presented that Mr. Guo may have at least telepathic capacities”.
“Having heard from my elder sister that mother was steadily but slowly sinking due to advancing dementia, on March 11 I asked Mr. Guo to pray that Nellie (mother) would pass away quickly and painlessly. Mr. Guo said that he would transmit that request, and that Jesus would come to receive mother into the next world, because Jesus is the deity in charge in the Christian part of the world.
As it happened, within less than 48 hours Nellie evidenced an episode portending impending death”.
(Linda concludes – details of her return visit to the temple 10 days later just after her mother’s death).
“I gave Mr. Guo the several pages of printout of Nellie’s (Linda’s mother) obituary and photos, which included her date and place of birth, standard information for communication with the spirits. Mr. Guo said that because Nellie had done good deeds all her life and accumulated abundant good karma, she would not be subjected to rebirth. He drew an elaborate diagram of the layers of the heavens, and said that she had ascended to the realm of “tai ji” (great extreme), not yet to the height of “wu ji” (boundless), and that in that realm there were five sectors: north, south, east, and west, as well as center. She was in the west sector that was governed both by Jesus and by Buddha, and that she would slowly rotate between the two for thirty years, while showering blessings on her descendants, before moving on to the higher realm. I expressed to Mr. Guo the hope that her grandson Roger would inherit Nellie’s generosity and sweet disposition, and he said that was likely to happen. He concentrated over the papers I brought with a hand gesture of blessing, and then proceeded to place a large charm printed on yellow paper next to it, and to stamp the paper with a large seal he took out of his desk, wetting the seal with the usual red wax ink in a box. Here I took pictures. Mr. Guo said he would keep the papers on the altar of the Immortal Lu for a while; usual practice is to burn the papers to transmit the message up to heaven. We bowed and left”.
“PS. Was it more than a coincidence that Nellie began to slip from life less than two days after the March 11 request to Mr. Guo? We can neither confirm nor disprove supernatural forces of the universe. We do have an apparent precedent. About five years ago I brought a German woman named Ulrika to see Mr. Guo; she requested that he help her 87-year-old mother overcome her constant and intense anxiety and fear of death. Mr. Guo prayed, and Ulrika herself felt better. When she returned to Germany a few days later, she found her mother calm. Or if belief in the spirits is merely human self-consolation, then so be it”.
March 19, 2010 § Leave a comment
Temples in Taiwan are almost as common as pubs in Sydney Australia.
This was my favorite temple built by farmers in the former terraced rice paddies – now vegetable and flower gardens.
My opinion is all religions are equal – a view substantiated from informative radio broadcasts in Australia by the Canadian lady, Rachael Kohn, host of The Spirit of Things. MP3, transcripts downloads are available:
Here’s an excerpt from 21 Feb 2010
Rachael Kohn: That’s Rabbi Brad Hirschfield, and he’ll be talking to me later about how he came to find that you don’t have to be wrong for me to be right.
If you’re someone from a religion with ancient roots, canonised texts and customary practices, it’s a big challenge dealing with different traditions. But what if your religion was born among the diverse spiritual movements of the late 19th century, when people were breaking away from established churches? In the north-eastern state of America, poets, philosophers and essayists were searching for a spiritual connection that was mystical and based in the natural environment. Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau were the most well known among them, and they gave rise to something called the New Thought movement. Today, New Thought congregations are spiritual communities that thrive on difference and diversity. Hailing from Encinitas, California, Christian Sorensen is the Community spiritual leader of a New Thought congregation with a great name.