Quick Update and Beihai Park

Hi guys!  I am excited to be putting together a mini series on my weekend in Xi’an!  In the meantime I wanted to share with you all some pictures from my recent trip to Beihai Park…I hope you enjoy and keep an eye out for my coming posts on my experience in Xi’an!

[SPOILER ALERT] The Lama Temple doesn’t have lamas…

Hi all – sorry it’s been a while!  Undergoing some internet access issues abroad, but that’s all part of the experience right?

I want to share with you all part of my experience at the Lama Temple in Beijing, or Yong He Gong.  Sadly there were not actually lamas there…but the experience of walking through the temple leaves me with a feeling I will never forget.

My initial impression of the Lama Temple was its vast beauty – the architecture, the way the bright saturated colors pop, the intricate details – it was almost a sensory overload, yet uniquely beautiful.  Throughout the air you can see waves of smoke, and the strong scent of incense envelops you.  I decided to burn incense and take a moment for prayer and reflection.

A little background on the temple was that it was built during the Qing Dynasty in 1694 as a palace, but later became a lamasery for Tibetan monks after emperors started living in Beijing’s arguably most famous historic spot, the Forbidden City.

Each building hosts rooms celebrating various Buddha where visitors can pray.  Entering the largest building, I was shocked at the sight of this Great Buddha.  Standing tall at about 85 feet, this beautiful, glowing golden Buddha was absolutely breathtaking…

Walking through the temple, I felt an almost indescribable wave of peacefulness and tranquility wash over me.  I have never felt anything quite like it in my life, this feeling of being content and more in touch with myself.

As the season quickly begins to change to winter, I am looking forward to hopefully going back to the Lama Temple to see it in winter time.  I feel that this temple is so special, it would require multiple visits to even begin to brush the surface of its history as a Beijing landmark of Chinese culture, as well as Buddhism in China.