Buddhist temple an enlightening sketch destination

This place is a real surprise. I had no idea it existed, so when Eric posted that the monthly sketch meet would be held at a Buddhist temple in Flat Bush - not far from East Tamaki, a part of Auckland better known for commercial factories and warehouses, I wasn't expecting much. A small shrine in a nice garden perhaps?

Well was I wrong or what. Entering the Fo Guang Shan temple is like being transported to another continent, and it's big, I felt like I was entering somewhere exotic like the Lama Temple in Beijing (never been, but you get the idea) so definitely a new experience for me.

I particularly enjoyed sketching the view through these big doors to the buddhas when this little girl ran through, she was obviously very excited to be in such a big fun playground, and appeared to bring a smile to the buddhas faces.