- Guoying Stacy Zhang
Buddhism and Abundance: Monastery of Tranquillity and Peace (Jing’an Monastery) in Shanghai
The city of Shanghai sparks alluring images: the glamour of the Paris of the Orient, the mesmerising breeze along the Bund, the Art Deco buildings in the former French Concession, and the futuristic skyline in the financial area of Lujiazui. Especially since the economic reforms of the 1990s, Shanghai has become one of the most exciting cities in the world.
Buddhism might be the last thing one would associate with a city such as Shanghai, as Buddhism often implies an ancient history and an ascetic lifestyle. However, although Shanghai is often perceived as a young and modern city, the earliest settlements in the region can be traced back to the Neolithic period. For instance, remnants of the Songze (崧泽) culture (3800–3300 BCE) were discovered in the present-day District of Qingpu. After Buddhism was introduced to China during the Han dynasty (206 BCE–220 CE), it did not take long for it to take root in the area of Shanghai.
Bird’s-eye view of Jing’an Monastery. Photo courtesy of Ven. Yayun
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