Even though the massive complex glows green and gold, the Chung Tian Temple is something that could be easily missed. Nestled in amidst quiet bushland behind Underwood Park, it’s a stunning property that’s a haven for Buddhists and a wonderful place where you could easily lose track of time.
As we were guided around the property by Venerable Shan (head monk of the temple), statues of Buddha and green spaces were a common sight. The smell of incense radiated through the air, the sound of gongs and the occasional chant escaping from the main temple. We could have been in China, but we were in Priestdale. Do you think the name was intentional?
We were ushered into a basic side room with a noble, softly spoken Chinese man — ready to witness a ceremony thousands of years in the making. William, our Tea Master, gave us an insight into how Buddhists use tea to enhance their religion. It’s all about being present in the moment. The pay off?
“To let our mind be deep and present, and be aware of our action, our speech and our thoughts.”
Focus and thoughtfulness are important in the tea ceremony — every move is deliberate, every sip is savoured — a succinct embodiment of the Buddhist religion.