6 of 13

The Mountain of Samantabhadra

Mount Omei, rising like a cone from the high plateaus of Sichuan Province in western China, is the holy mountain and principal pilgrimage site of Samantabhadra. It has been home to many temples and continues as a monastic training center even today. Over the centuries, many pilgrims to beautiful Omei have reported miraculous visions amid its hazy heights. Colorful balls of phosphorescent light have especially been noted floating in the mist or below the peaks at night, said to be lanterns emanated by Samantabhadra as offerings to the Way.

Mount Omei was a favorite inspirational spot for poetry, and many famous Chinese poets penned verses there. This is fitting, considering Samantabhadra's visionary qualities. The famed eleventh-century writer Su Dongpo was born and raised in a town at the foot of Mount Omei. A deeply insightful student of Chan Buddhism who also held important government positions, Su Dongpo wrote some of his verses while visiting Mount Omei.

In the deep night, with the wind still, the sea calm,
I'll find a boat and drift away,
to spend my final years afloat,
trusting to the river and the sea.