China Town, Amsterdam
Just to the east of the Red Light District, you'll find Chinatown, which doesn't strike the same authentic tone with me as do Chinatowns in other cities, but it's still a good place to grab an inexpensive bite to eat or find stores selling herbal teas and other items you'd expect in this type of neighborhood.
A few minutes after I snapped this photo, it started to snow, so I didn't stick around long.
In 1994 a few wealthy chinese business men asked the city council permission to built a chinese buddhist temple at the Zeedijk. In 2000 (at the 40th birthday of Gonnie) the temple was officially opened by queen Beatrix. The name He Hwa means lotus flower. The lotus flower is a buddhist symbol of enlightenment.
It is the biggest in traditional chinese style built temple in Europe. It is part of the world wide chinese buddhist organisation I.B.P.S., of which the mother monastery is in Taiwan, the Fo Guang Shan monastery.
VENERABLE MASTER HSING YUN.
He is a great proclaimer of Humanistic Buddhism.
He has written many books on the subject and he has founded several organisations, among which 3 Buddhist universities and clinics that renders free medical help. Human being and human existence are central to Humanistic Buddhism but there are no essential differences with other and traditional Buddhist schools.
Humanistic Buddhism integrates spiritual practice with all aspects of our daily lives.
This is realised through the following aims expressed by Master Hsing Yun himself:
* to pratise fellowship and selflessness
to emphasize spiritual practice in daily life
* to give joy to others and to experienmce joy
* to use suitable means to help others
* to cherish the universal wish to save all
GUAN YIN has many diffent attributes in her hands and they all are symbols of the ways . means with which she comes to the rescue of people.
On each side of Guan Yin is a statue, one of WEI TUO and one of QIE-LAN, the legendary protectors of Buddhism.
On the walls of this hall are many tablets with pictures of GUAN YIN.
The repetion of this picture and the great number shows that the DHARMA, the principles / the faith of BUDDHA is everywhere to be found.
For more information or a GUIDED TOUR, please contact one of the NUNS of VOLUNTEERS present at the temple.
And on March 13th, the day of the VT meeting in Amsterdam, we discovered this very special place, a real surprise......very worthwhile of your visit.
There is still a bit more to tell you, so please follow me to the next TIP......
The function of this temple is expressed by its 4 aims:
* to spread Buddhism (cultural activities)
* to help develop talents of people
* to help further positive developments in
society by means of charity prpgrammes
* to purify the hearts and minds of all people
by giving them the opportunity to learn how
to practise BUDDHISM.
This temple is the BIGGEST Chinese temple of the I.B.P.S. in EUROP that is built in the traditional style.
It is part of a world-wide Chinese Buddhist organisation, the I.B.P.S., which was founded bij Venerable Master Hsing Yun, with a head monastery in TAIWAN called Fo Guang Shan Monastery.
The organisation has smaller temples in many larger European cities as well as large monasteries and training centres in the U.S.A., South Africa and Australia.
Although the emphasis is mainly on religious activities, the temple also fulfills an important cultural role for the chinese community in Holland and especially in Amsterdam.
Every Sunday, from 10.30 AM onwards, there is a Sutra recitation in the traditional Chinese way. SUTRAS are the sayings of the Buddha that have been committed to writing.
Everyone who is interested is welcome to attend the recitation.
Courses in Buddhism and Chinese are also given, both for Chinese as wel as Dutch speakers.
Every year in May the birth of Buddha is celebrated in this temple.
The Main hall of the temple is open to the public.
Here you can find the statue of AVALOKITESVARA, in Chinese GUAN YIN BODHISATTVA in place of pride!
Her name means THE WISE ONE WHO NORICES / SEE EVERYTHING AND WHO IS FULL OF COMPASSION.
She sees with a thousand eyes, each in one hand, she "sees" all the suffering of the world and every suffering person.
Her 1000 hands symbolize her capability to save every living creature!
She also helps AMITABHA BUDDHA leading people to his WESTERN PUREIFIED LAND.
This is the reason that there is often a small statue of Amitabha in her crown.
TOO MANY CHARACTERS so I have to use another tip..........please follow me.....
In 1994 some prominent Chinese entrepreneurs requested AMSTERDAM's Mayor to be allowed to built a Chinese-Budhhist temple at the Zeedijk in Amsterdam.
This was a project in close collaboration with the I.B.P.S. (International Buddhist Progress Society), the Buddhist organisation from Taiwan.
September 17th 1996 the official 'GROUND-BREAK-CEREMONY" took place and Master Hsing Yun himself had come to Amsterdam.
September 10th 1998 the foundation was laid and the highest point was reached Februari 2000.
The temple is wonderful to see although the day we were there, March 13th AMSTERDAM MEETING, the most wonderful parts were covered in plastic to keep them safe for rain and especially frost after rain fall! Frozen rain could easily break down the wonderful decorations!
The hane HE HWA means LOTUS.
The lotus flower in Buddhism symbolizes the opportunity for enlightenment.
But the word HE is also part of the Chinese word for The Netherlands which in Chinese is He Ian.
The name also expresses the wish that Buddhism may florish in The Netherlands.
The FOUNDER of BUDDHISM, SAKYAMUNI BUDDHA was born in what now is NEPAL, 2500 years ago.
After a lengthy period of intensive training in seclusion and training in meditation, Buddha realized the opportunity to overcome the suffering in human existence.
During the next 45 years Buddha shared all his wisdom with everyone who was interested and wanted to know and learn.
The life of the person Sakyamuni Buddha gives extreme inspiration and will always be an example for us of how to live a life with mental, spiritual training.
For more info see next TIPS.......I simply have to use more that one TIP because of the number or characters.................
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Just walking around enjoying all the street scene can be very entertaining. There are people from all walks of life and it is quite an adventure to be around so many different nationalities and cutlure all at once, it can be shocking.
Visit the Chinatown from Amsterdam.......Buy all what you need for cooking in the Chinese supermarkets or go to have diner in one of the real Chinese restaurants. It's only 5 minutes walking from the central station.
This picture was in the Dutch newspaper, it is a buddhist temple at the Zeedijk (is a street), which is situated in the red light district, it has been opened on the 15th of September 2000 by our queen Beatrix. When you are on your way to the Nieuwmarkt or the redlight district be sure to pass through the Zeedijk. The temple is a strange thing to see, especially in the hart of Amsterdam stuck between old dutch buildings.
If you are a buddhist, you can visit this temple. The ppls in this temple can speak chinese.
Not very big, but enough for you to pray in here for a while
Just beside the Schreierstoren is the Geldersekade and there we hit on a typical Amsterdam, Dutch sight even. A bridge where bicycles are parked.