The Wisdom Path is a short walk from the Big Buddha and Po Lin Monastery. On our hike to the Wisdom Path, tired from the long walk and the oppressive heat, V and I joked that it was apt to call it the Wisdom Path because people would age and wise up just trying to get there (we were being dramatic, really, the walk was 15 minutes at most), but we were glad we took the trip for the view we were rewarded with.
The Wisdom Path is a quiet spot set in the hills of Ngong Ping featuring a series of 38 wooden columns measuring 8-10 metres tall, arranged in an ∞ (infinity) pattern. The columns showcase the calligraphic works of famous contemporary Chinese scholar Professor Jao Tsung-I, mimicking the writings on bamboo tiles used in ancient China, of verses from the centuries-old Buddhist classic called Heart Sutra; one of the world’s best-known prayers revered by Confucians, Buddhists and Taoists alike. We do not read chinese and there was no english translation of the writings at the location, so we simply enjoyed the beauty and tranquil atmosphere surrounding us, but we found out afterward that the prayer talks about the philosophy of emptiness, of not being attached to things, and being at peace with one’s present condition and what’s available. Indeed, one of the columns at the top has no inscription, carrying this meaning of emptiness.
Photos by Arnold Hozana