Sunday Session. Guy & I felt we needed to step out of Jozi Town for a few hours. Not too far out. But out. Destination: The Nan Hua Buddhist Temple in Bronkhorstspruit.
Sunday lunchtime sees visitors stop in on this sleepy little town, 50km’s East of Pretoria. R30 awards you a coupon for the calmest vegetarian meal you’ll probably ever eat. Buddhist monks attend the temple. Others are busy eating lunch in the dining hall. There’s a sense of calm, of course there is. Apart from city slickers seeking out tofu & steamed greens, the point of making the short trek is to find some sort of calming renewal yes? Silence, so much silence. The temple, a burst of colour amongst the dry, earthy tones of the surrounding landscape. You’re pretty much left to your own devices, free to walk within the grounds, free to step away from technology, free to experience the moment in a calm environment. Manic what? No. No manic anything & clouds for days, so many clouds.
Communal dining. The hall is quiet. No talking. Silent whispering every now & then. Rows of tables & small stools. Take your seat anywhere. Pick up a small bowl, a side plate, a spoon, a set of chopsticks & serve. A simple meal. Exactly what I expected it to be. Stir-fried green, red & yellow peppers, sauteed baby potatoes (incredible), vegetable noodles, stir-fried greens, what I assume was tofu, soft, butter like stir-fried brinjals, steamed rice & a mushroom & noodle broth. Watermelon for sweetness. Eating in silence. Calming. The feeling of pure nourishment. The sense that food is being used for its actual purpose – as fuel. So far removed from the constant gluttony we seem to be part of. You hear a slurp every now & then. But. Silence. Pack up your vessels before exiting the hall.
We stroll up. No cameras or taking of pictures allowed inside the temple. To think that the beauty of it all sits alongside a highway. Weekend retreats also take place – you know, where you can exit your urban existence for longer than just a few hours. Guy & I were there for about two hours. One hundred & twenty minutes did wonders for me. Even guy seemed… calmer. A weekend retreat would probably leave me feeling as light as those clouds floating above. Basically – ready for life again. Bye Bye stress, if only for a few hours. Thank you Nan Hua Buddhist Temple for allowing us to take the smallest glimpse into your world.
Visiting Hours: 09:00 – 17:00 (Closed Mondays)