Guanyin Altar at Yangzhi Monastery on Putuoshan Island
Putuoshan Island off the coast of Shanghai is one of the four sacred Buddhist mountains in China. Each mountain is dedicated to a particular Bodhisattva and Putuoshan is dedicated to Guanyin, the goddess of compassion.
Last month I visited the many temples dedicated to her at Putuoshan and spent a week studying with Dr. Chun-Fang Yu, Columbia University’s scholar on the Guanyin. We studied the transformation of this deity from male into female over many centuries in Chinese history. While in certain settings Guanyin is still depicted as male, at Putuoshan she is primarily considered female and tied to the Chinese folk legend of Miaoshan, a young woman who is transformed into Guanyin through her exceptional sacrifices.
Guanyin Statue in reconstruction at Fayu Temple on Putuoshan Island
I’ll be sharing more of the story of Miaoshan later in this blog and also for the C.G. Jung Society in Denver on Oct 4. Learn more about the talk at www.thefemalebuddha.com
Guanyin: Archetype of Liberation and Love: Friday Oct 4, 7 p.m., First Divine Science Church, 14th Ave. and Williams St., $15 at the door, $10 for students and seniors