Yin and Yang

Making fast miso soup in the morning

Recently, I found I am slightly too senstive to coffee in the early morning. Too much caffeine too early seems to be a big shock for the stomach and causes stomach irritation.

When I stayed in Kyoto this autumn, I learned the Japanese habit of waking up to have a nice cup of miso soup. It's a way of gently restarting the deeply relaxed body after a night of resting.

Guanyin in Long Shan temple

Many people wonder if Long Shan temple in Taipei is a Daoist or a Buddhist temple. Because they can see many statues and paintings of Daoist Gods inside, but they can see also Buddhist Gods. Meanwhile, the architecture and decor of the Longsan temple is clearly looks like Daoist style.

However, the main God in Long Shan temple is Guanyin, and Guanyin is a Buddhist Bodhisattva. Guanyin Bodhisattva is a symbol of people or gods who practice "Guanyin dharma". Guanyin means to observe our inner voice, to look into our mind, to listen to the words which we don't express outwardly.

Guanyin is also called the Bodhisattva of compassion, Guanyin dharma is a widely spread teaching in Taiwan, and even in Asia. When people have difficulties in their lives, they often pray for Guanyin Bodhisattva's help.

Cloud above Kyoto

This autumn, I had an opportunity to rent a small old style Japanese house in Kyoto. It was so much better than staying in a hotel room. But there were two mysteries in the house. I didn't have anyone to explain them for me, because I didn't meet the landlord during my stay at all – everything was handled online.

When we arrived, I noticed there was a special corner in the living room and bedroom, some paintings hanging up on the wall, and right in front of the paintings stood a small wooden table with a vase. I couldn't understand why, in a small wooden house, with only limited space, why the owner of the house would still make a space for those things?

First Bai Bai in LongSan temple

When you enter a Taiwanese temple like LongSan temple, you will see people offering incense to the Gods. There is incense burning right in front of each God's image or statue. People hold the incensee and pray, then put the incense in the incense burners.

In Taiwanese temples, have you noticed that at the first incense burner, there is no God sitting in front of it? But you still see people holding the incense and praying, and still offering the incense in the burner.

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