News Centre

Year 12s visit Buddhist Temple


As part of the NCEA Level 2 Religious Education course, the Year 12s have been visiting the Fo Guang Shan New Zealand Buddhist Temple just across the road from us.


From the carpark outside, the temple doesn’t look like much. However, that thought is gradually relinquished as they you up the imposing set of stairs, enter through the impressive wooden doors and witness the sprawling courtyard. The more the students entered the temple, the more they could feel they’ve left behind the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Their mannerisms began to emulate the monks who strolled serenely through the temple. They eventually reached the core of the temple – a maze made from a checkerboard of concrete and mondo grass, framed by building structures and scattered with Zen gardens and avenues of cherry blossom trees. At this point, the students had to pinch themselves to make sure they were still in Auckland and had not been mysteriously dropped somewhere in the middle of Asia.


The first thing the students did was observe the “three acts of goodness,” by bathing the mini Buddhas in the courtyard and vowing to “Say good words, do good deeds, think good thoughts.” Shortly after, the students prowled through the art galleries, showing a display on the life story of Buddha and a display on Chinese calligraphy. “We learned that each stroke of the character is a physical display of the writer’s emotions, thoughts and feelings.” On top of that, the students tolled the Wishing Bell and practiced mindfulness meditation.


Last but not least, the students entered a room filled with the hopes and aspirations of nearby East Auckland students, including their own. A few weeks before, the Religious Education teachers had provided students with pieces of card to write how they want to be a better person. These were then returned to the Buddhist Temple where their pieces of card joined the wall of East Aucklanders collective wish to improve as people.

Upon leaving the wonderfully tranquil setting, the students were escorted back into the hustle and bustle of school life.


On the quest to have a more well-rounded view of religions throughout the world, the visit to the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Temple proved useful.“Not only did our visit enlighten us about the religion of Buddhism, but it also encouraged us to have a more profound respect for what others choose to believe in.”

Thank you to the Religious Education teachers, Mr. Tamayo, Ms. Bradley, Mr. Piggin and Mrs. Vercoe for making the trip to the Buddhist Temple possible.


Katrina Chan