Miu Fat Buddhist Monastery / 妙法寺 from Wikicommons
Visiting an ancient temple is an amazing experience. When you're there your mind often drifts back to earlier times when monks and nuns read their texts and chanted their sutras. Modern temples, on the other hand, can sometimes feel a bit inauthentic. They have to work harder. It's as if a temple has to be around for a few thousand years before it can "prove" itself to us. This, of course, isn't true. A deeper look can reveal that a well designed modern temple can often reflect a stronger sense of the ancient wisdom that inspired it through modern materials and design techniques. Better light and air circulation can, for example, help the supplicant to spend more time in contemplation. Better acoustics can help them hear more clearly and better lighting to see and read without error. The final effect is that "modern" is not always bad and "ancient" is not always good. Here in Hong Kong, we're lucky enough to boast BOTH modern and ancient temples.
Miu Fat Buddhist Monastery / 妙法寺 in Yuen Long 元朗 is definitely of a modern construction but its sophisticated design was taken directly from Buddhist elements that are thousands of years old. Whether it's the "Mandela" shape of the building itself or the 3 story hall housing 10,000 Buddhas with an estimated cost of $60 million HK, Miu Fat is an integral part of the Yuen Long New Town religious landscape.
Let's explore this exceptional modern temple and embrace both the modern and the ancient in our lives.