Buddhism has always been a significant part of my life and the life of our family because the Buddha’s teachings provide a calming influence. I remember the first time that I listened to a Buddhist fellow speaking about “The Buddha,” He brought this sense of calm and joy I really had not seen before.
Our father and our mother, Mr & Mrs. Fu-Lo Wang, were born in the island Peng-Hu (or “Peng-Hoo”) which is a lightly populated island between Taiwan and Hong Kong in the Taiwan Strait. At his young age, our father was one of the founders and designers of the Main “Long Shing Gong” (literally “Dragon Prosperity Temple”) in Peng-Hu. And, he was also a member of the committee from groundbreaking to completion of this magnificent temple in Peng-Hu. One year after their marriage, our father and our mother travelled by ship across Taiwan Strait and settled down in Kaohsiung, which is a major city in Southern Taiwan.
The above image on the left shows our parents during their honey-moon taken on October 19, 1939. The above image on the right shows our parents in front of the main”Long ShingGong” inPeng-Hu during their trip from America back to Taiwan in January of 1993.
My siblings and I were born and raised in a house that is adjoining to a small Buddhist temple located in Shin-Yee Lane, Kaohsiung, Taiwan. This small temple, also called “Long Shing Gong,” is a branch temple of the main “Long Shing Gong” in Peng-Hu. The property of this small temple originally was a residential building. In realizing the importance of spiritual needs in the daily life, our father (who then owned a construction company) and his two brothers purchased this property, and led a group of enthusiastic Buddhists to convert this residential building into a beautiful temple of their dreams. This branch temple of “Long Shing Gong” in Kaohsiung not only is a spiritual center, but also is a place for people to meet, to share their pain and joy, to learn about Buddhism, and to offer assistance to those who need help.
After their retirement, our parents settled down in California, USA, in 1975, so they could be close to their children and grand children. They returned to their hometowns in Peng-Hu and Kaoshiung several times. During their final days in California, our parents were still concerned about “Long Shing Gong.” With its growing devotees, “Long Shing Gong” in Kaohsiung had another expansion in 2004. The house where my siblings and I grew up is now a reception room and conference center. Today, our cousins are in charge of Long Shing Gong in Kaohsiung, which is a popular and prosperous temple.
The above image shows our beloved parents, their son-in-law Jerry and 3 months old grand-daughter Patty in front of “Long Shing Gong.” Mr. Jerry Palmer and his daughter Patty visited “Long Shing Gong” in January of 1967 during the Chinese New Year celebration.
The above image shows our beloved parents in front of “Long Shing Gong” in Kaohsiung during their trip from America back to Kaohsiung, Taiwan in January of 1993.
The above image on the left shows the bowling alley that was built by our father in 1967. The above image on the right shows our parents played bowling during their visiting our big sister in Taipei, Taiwan. Bowling was one of our parents’ favorite hobbies.
During the early 1960’s, our father remodelled our house and added a second-story to the existing structure. Then he converted the original living room and family room on the ground floor into a small factory which produced plastic threads for use in making fishing nets. After years of successful operation, our father closed his business in 1967 due to growing competition in this field . With many years of experiences in design and construction, our father converted the huge space of this factory into an attractive bowling alley, which was the first bowling alley and recreation center in the neighborhood.
Happy Days in California
Buddhist Master Sheng-Yan said, ” “If you have never failed, you have never tried.”
Suffering is unavoidable. If you don’t suffer, you would not know what happiness is. In these moments of suffering, you know that walking is a joy, that breathing is a joy, and just looking at the blue sky is a joy. We all need some amount of suffering in order to be able to appreciate the well-being and happiness that are available to us. You need the darkness in order to appreciate the beautiful morning.