Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Marble Mountain Temple

March 25 2006

I only ended up at this Temple by fluke, but it turned out to be the most powerful experience I had in Asia. My driver and guide; Bonsoon; led me up the winding steps carved into Marble mountain.

We finally arrived at a junction that led to three temples carved out of the rock.
Each cave Temple contained a Quan Eem statue. Pictures don't show you the atmosphere of the place. It had such a peace about it and I felt very much at home. I kept getting a sense of deja vu. It was as if there was something here I was supposed to remember.
This second of the three Temple altars reminded me of my favorite piece of furniture from my childhood home in Ontario. We have a carved 'Chinese Chest' that I always felt an affinity to. This chest reminds me very much of it.
She is like a silent entry to the gate of some fantastic world. It's not so much the look of her as the feeling emanating from this location.
This is an alcove near the entrance of the largest Cave Temple. I don't see any mist when I look at this statue. It just shows up when I try to take a photo of it.
This is the gateway to the main Temple which is a large Cave in the heart of the Mountain. You can see the small statue of Quan Eem over the archway.
And now we are inside the large Cave Temple itself. This statue of the lady Buddha, Quan Eem, is to the left of the doorway as I enter. It's life-size. The Cave itself is about thirty feet to the ceiling and looks like the inside of a Geode, with rough craggy rock making up the walls of this Temple Fortress.
As I stand here facing the main altar, I feel energy pouring through me and around me. I just stand in the centre of the cave and bathe in this incredible soothing energy that fills my heart with a powerful sense of well being and love for all things. I take several photos but each time, my camera is unable to convey what I see. Each photo is obstructed by this fine mist.
And here is another attempt to take a picture of the Central Quan Eem figure. It's not that she is so lovely to see with the eyes. In fact the Temple is quite ordinary in many ways. The power of this place must be felt. It can not be viewed with the eyes. As I'm standing here I suddenly realize that last year I had a similar experience with another Temple in another country, related to Quan Eem. In that cave, in Kanchanaburi, Thailand, I took a misty photo that later revealed a mysterious figure on the wall of the cave. I don't know what this all means. I just know it's important for me somehow.

Here is that story from last year
I finally point my camera straight up and take another photograph. This is a hole in the roof of the cave. Bonsoon tells me that this Temple was bombed during the 'American War' but even though it had a direct hit with a bomb from a B-52, the Temple miraculously survived intact. Only this hole remains.
My guide keeps urging me to come along so that we could see a Museum nearby, but I just smile and tell him our sightseeing is already complete. I squat down in the centre of the Cave for a long pause to just listen to the powerful Sound Current all around me, and enjoy the beauty of this moment.
We finally descend this magical staircase to the town below and I walk slowly along the street looking at the marble sculptures as if walking in a dream. If this was to be the only experience I have in this Magical Country, it would be well worth the long journey from Canada and back again.

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