Monday, May 26, 2008

Temple Tour in Beijing

On May 26, 2008 My daughter, Hannah, and Chinese language group friend, Mark Van Loan, arrived in Beijing, PRC for a tour that would take us to China's four Buddhist Mountains and other areas of significant Buddhist art and places of worship. The trip was comparable to visiting the famous cathedrals of Europe or going to the Holy Lands where people travel to worship.
We were joined on our first day of our tour by my friend Wang Leyan and her husband Wu Cen. Leyan was my language partner when I studied Chinese language briefly at Beijing Language and Culture University (Beijing Yu Yan Wen Hua Da Xue) the summer of 1999. It was really special that they were able to join us for the day!

Our tour started in Beijing where we visited the Cudrania Pool Temple, Jietai Temple, the Miaoying (White Pagoda) Temple and the Lama Temple, the most renown Tibetan Buddhist temple in China and outside Tibet.

The layouts to Buddhist temples are all very similar. The first building contains the Guardians of the four directions. We learned that when you enter a Buddhist Temple men are supposed to step over the threshold with their left foot. Women step over with their right foot. Pictures are usually not allowed in temples and these pictures of the four guardians were the only pictures I was able to take inside a temple.
Top Right: (left to right) Wang Leyan, Hannah, Michel, Mark Van Loan, Wu Cen
Other pictures are of the Four Guardians

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