No. 111: Zhenru Temple, Jiujiang, Jiangxi

(This article was published in the Shenzhen Daily on November 3, 2014.)

This memorial to Master Xuyun (虚云大师) is located next to Zhenru Temple
(真如寺), Yongxiu (Jiujiang), Jiangxi (江西, 九江市永修县), where he passed away.

August 10, 2012 - Using my new "base" in Nanchang, where I stopped in at Youmin Temple, I visited two more remote temples over the next two days. First, I took a train to rural Yongxiu, and a long bus from there to the base of Yunju (Cloud Residence) Mountain. A local driver took me another 10 or 15 kilometers up a windy mountain road to Zhenru ("True Suchness") Temple.

The driver took me around a good-sized lake. Elsewhere called a "free life pond," and used for releasing animals (to gain merit for the person who does so), here its name was much more explicit. A sign called it "Lake Letting Them Go."

He dropped me all alone under the enormous new gateway. In fact, that was the general tenor of the place: big, new, and deserted. I was not to see another person on the main temple grounds, though I met some delightful old monks in a side compound.

After touring the main temple area on my own, I hiked out to a small monastic cemetery I had noticed on the way in. Then, making my way around the huge "free life pond" and out the front gate, I turned right to a very special place.

Zhenru Temple is the place where the great monk Xuyun passed away in 1959. I have since heard that there is a fine museum in the temple, containing personal items that once belonged to the Master, and telling the story of his life.

Although I missed that, I was able to visit his memorial pagoda. And it was in the compound surrounding it that I met some delightful old monks, and some little black and white puppies.

Finishing my visit, I faced a quandary. There was simply no transportation back to the bottom of the mountain, where I trusted that a bus would pass. So I started walking the 10-15 kilometers down, and hoped for the best.

When I reached the gate to the Yunju Mountain Scenic Area, my luck took a turn for the better. Some other temple visitors drove by, and--at the request of the gate guard--kindly took me not merely to the bottom of the mountain, but all the way back to the train station, where they purchased my ticket back to Nanchang!

GPS Info:
  • 29.09349, 115.58012


(Regarding problems with this map, please see the CHINA section on this page.)


More pictures can be found here.

The new front gate to Zhenru Temple, Yongxiu

The huge "free life pond"

A small monastic cemetery outside the compound

The memorial pagoda of Master Xuyun

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