A Quiet Moment in the Heart of Chengdu City
After visiting the People’s Park, my heart was set in visiting the Aidao Nunnery to listen to nuns chant before their vegetarian meal. I’m not sure if I was hoping to find God and be converted but for some reason, was adamant that we needed to be there to watch the chant. People who had been said it was easy to get to but as soon as we entered the area of, for lack of a better term, the old quarters, we realised this maze of nunneries and temples was actually quite confusing but at the same time very very alluring.
Chengdu is quite a busy city so to step in to this area felt very special. Everything, even if it was a modern restaurant, was fashioned from old buildings and the streets were cobblestone and the people there were calm and peaceful for the most part. It was actually really lovely to walk around there for a while, exploring their little shops and alleyways.
We did find the Aido Nunnery and got to witness the end of their chant. They sat in a room dedicated to eating, lined up on tables and sung their chant loudly before their food. Every person there, even if they weren’t a nun, then got served a snack set of food which seemed to consist of noodles, some type of vegetarian dumplings, some plain rice and a few other things. All the food was vegetarian and at the entrance there was a sign stating that when eating their food they must remember those who aren’t as fortunate as them and eat for those who suffer in order to help them. I thought this was very beautiful and as we sat in their courtyard and watched them modestly eat their small portions of food I couldn’t help but think of home, or even just outside of these walls, and how rare it is to be able to see people with such humility and dedication going about their daily lives.