On a lazy Sunday, I was invited to go to a Buddhist temple and enjoy a vegetarian lunch. After a few hours lost in São Paulo, we arrived in Cotia, in the ZU LAI TEMPLE. The 30 km should be fast, but getting out of this metropolis is no easy task.
While on the road I spotted a beautiful garden with the sculptures that show the phases of Buddha. They are great, made of soapstone and rich in detail.
It does not matter your beliefs, it is worthwhile enjoying this place to relax and renew the energies. You may attend lectures or take courses on meditation, language, cooking, tai chi chuan, kung fu and how to grow shitake.
Among the Eastern architecture and its details, the temple has meditation and study rooms, library, museum and some prohibited areas; however, we could see beautiful altars and statues through the windows, specially where they keep the ashes of their ancestors.
As for the lunch, I expected more – everything is very simple, but the food is tasty and so is the Eastern tea. It was a pleasant one-day tour to get away from the routine.
If you really want to meditate go on a week day, Sunday afternoon is crowded and noisy. Perhaps it is better inside the meditation rooms. Lots of kids and adults go just to visit and have lunch.
Entrance and parking are for free, but they accept spontaneous donations. It is required to wear clothes suitable for a religious place, not to take any kind of food and remain in silence.
From Tue to Fri, 12 to 5. Weekends and holidays open at 9:30.
How to get there: by car, take Fernando Nobre highway, it is on 1461 in Cotia. Easy to find.
Cafeteria: all you can eat for R$15 on Sundays.
Check the website.
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