古老的慈荫庵位于甸头村北端，地势绝佳，在这里可以纵览整个沙溪的壮观景色。这里原本是一座尼姑庵，但随着宗教影响力的衰落，这里也日益荒废，然而人们依然前来虔诚的朝拜送子观音。2010年冬季的一天，一个名叫柏昆（Chris Barclay）的美国游客和妻子Nam来到了沙溪，听说慈荫庵的送子观音很灵验，他带着时年45岁的妻子前来朝拜祈求子嗣，回去后如同奇迹般生了一个漂亮女儿。2011年，他带着感恩的心情回来还愿，获得了当地政府的修复许可后，个人出资并遵照地方政府文物修复的要求，由大理国光古建园林公司施工，用本地传统工艺高标准修复了这座古老而神秘的寺院，并为了给访客提供简单寺院餐饮，在南厢房打造了朴素典雅的梨花素食餐厅。您可以在此处了解有关他们 真实故事的更多信息。 通过与当地政府和村民的友好合作，已有300多年历史的古老寺庙进入了全新的旅游发展阶段。现在，现代化的游客中心已经投入使用，在舒适的咖啡厅里吃块小面包，或是细细品尝本地美食，同时可以观看各种关于沙溪历史文化介绍的视频，还可以轻松获得旅游资讯。寺庙的最高层躲在巨大的古树背后，游客可以在顶层的露台上享用丰盛的本地素食，或是悠闲的喝上一顿下午茶。
Above the main courtyard is the Hall of the Goddess of Mercy or Goddess of Compassion (Guan Yin 观音). In this shrine, the Mother Goddess is depicted with a baby as Songzi Guanyin (The Guan Yin Who Brings Children 送子观音). The name Guanyin
is short for Guanshiyin, which means "Perceiving the Sounds (or lamentations) of the World". It is the Chinese translation of the Sanskrit name Avalokitesvara, the Indian bodhisattva of wisdom and compassion, the unfailing savior
of all beings. Guanyin is revered in the general Chinese population due to her unconditional love, compassion and mercy. In Chinese Buddhism, she is the Mother Goddess, the great protector and benefactor of the weak, the ill and especially children and the babies. By this association she is also seen as a fertility goddess capable of granting children. In Daoism she is revered as Songzi Niang Niang, the Maiden Who Brings Children. An old Chinese belief involves a woman wishing to have a child offering a shoe at a Guanyin Temple. Sometimes a borrowed shoe is used then when the expected child is born the shoe is returned to its owner along with a new pair as a "thank you" gift.
The Barclays, an American family who recently restored the temple, prayed to Guan Yin and after years of not being able to conceive, were blessed with a helathy baby girl, Hannah. You can see their touching video here.
Hidden away on the second level of the temple is a quiet hall which overlooks the courtyar. This is the Pear Blossom Teahouse. Designed by project owner Chris Barclay, the teahouse serves lunch and dinner from a seaonal vegetarian menu The Teahouse is not easy to find and most know of it through word-of-mouth. There are no signs in the temple pointing guests inside and so most tourists don't know about it. Our chef, Madam Yang is a resident of the temple's Diantou Village and is a master of local vegetarian cooking. She doesn't speak very much English but she has young assistants who help with foreign guests. There is a broad imported wine selection as well as local beers and of course diverse teas from around Yunnan.
Throughout the year, the people of Diantou Village will gather at the Pear Orchard Temple to celebrate religious days. There is a large kitchen reserved for ceremonial and festival cooking, separate from the Pear Blossom. Early in the morning, the village women elders (Lao Mama Hui) will arrive to prepare the kitchen and shrines while the men prepare the many tables and benches required for the large meal to follow. Alms are collected for each occasion to help pay for the cost of food and cermonial items. Those lucky enough to arrive during the time of the month when rituals are performed are welcome to join in and have a meal. A small donation to the temple is recommended.
Chef Yang is also an accomplished traditional dancer and leads Diantou Village's women's dance troupe. Groups can request in advance a demonstration of Bai ceremonial dance and particpate in learning with the troupe. Blessing ceremonies may also be arranged through Madam Yang, who can ask the village priest and women elders to perform a special blessing ceremony for children or those dealing with poor health. At least one day's notice is required to gather the local people who typically have farming and household work to tend to each day.