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Chung Tai
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THE MONASTERY


 

 

The main building of Chung Tai resembles a cultivator in sitting meditation

The main building of Chung Tai resembles
a cultivator in sitting meditation

Viewed from afar, the main building of Chung Tai resembles a cultivator in sitting meditation, surrounded by mountains, majestic and serene. The entire structure is an embodiment of the Dharma, unifying sudden enlightenment and gradual cultivation. The three central Buddha halls rise vertically to the golden dome on top, symbolizing sudden enlightenment to the ultimate truth—"awaken the mind and see the true nature; seeing the true nature one becomes a buddha." The pilgrimage stairways on both sides of the monastery represent the gradual bodhisattva path (a bodhisattva is a Buddha-to-be, one with infinite compassion for all beings), each step leading to the attainment of buddhahood not just for oneself but for all beings.

The architecture of Chung Tai Chan Monastery expresses a harmony of the arts, culture, science, and the teachings of the Buddha, and is a wonderful application of the Five Modern Approaches of Buddhism. Soon after the Monastery's completion, it was awarded "The Taiwan Architecture Award" in 2002, and "The International Award for Lighting Design" in 2003. Having received wide acclaim and recognition, the monastery is a landmark of 21st century religious architecture.