The Giant Buddha

Leshan Giant Buddha Head Dafo SichuanI recently took a job teaching at an environmental education center, one at which I have worked in the past.  This is great in that I am now gainfully employed, but also means that I have significantly less time to write.  I miss being able to spend the day writing an article, but writing doesn’t really pay the bills, at least not at the moment.

Should you ever go to Leshan, ask a resident to tell you something about their city.  Chances are fair that they will first tell you about Dafo, the world’s largest sitting Buddha carving.  They may also tell you about Guo Moruo, the famed writer who is native to the area, but he doesn’t pull nearly the same weight as the great stone relic.βββββββββββββββββββββββββββββ

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Leshan Giant Buddha Temple BuddhistLast December I posted a short history of the Leshan Buddha,  which is the main source of tourist traffic in the region, bringing in a good bit of revenue to the city.  Most tourists only go to see the Buddha for a few hours, and rarely do they stay more than a day.  Many of them are on their way to Emei Shan (mountain), the holiest of the Buddhist sites in China.

When we visited to the Buddha, it was a relatively quiet day, and we drew a lot of attention.  It was entertaining to see each person we passed do a double take on the group of western college students.  At one point, we attempted to take a group picture and were quickly joined by several eager Chinese men who happened to be in the area.  A classic moment.

Leshan Giant Buddha Cliffside SichuanI don’t have much time to do more detail than this, and I think the pictures do themselves great justice, so I will add a number.  The stairs down to the base of the Buddha were treacherous, and I really enjoyed to view from the cliff overlooking the confluence of the three rivers below.Leshan Giant Buddha Chinese MenLeshan Giant Buddha Catwalk

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