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I am not sure if I ever told you guys that I have this strange obsession with Temples.  I just love them and one of the main reasons I moved to China was because of their beautiful temples.  Before I leave this country I want to see as many temples as I can.   For some reason when I enter a temple a feeling of calmness and peacefulness overcomes me… and I forget all the issues and stresses that I have or ever had.  I feel such a feeling of awe… that there is nothing else in this world that could ever matter as much as that space of time.

Michael surprised me today by taking me to the Jade Temple.  It is a monastery about 30 minutes from our little city.  At first I was a little worried that I wouldn’t be able to get in .. as some monasteries only allow men.  But this was actually tourist ready so women were allowed. I even saw one female monk.  Lucky for us, it was not a holiday or a holy day (besides it being Sunday).. so it was not crowded at all.   We could take our time with out a crowd of people pushing us… to look around and for me to pray.

The entire place was about the size of your local Six flags.. it is the best way I could describe it.   In the middle was a super large lake.. and you could rent boats or peddle bicycles to go across the lake.  We chose the option of just walking around the entire place.  It took us about 2 hours to do it.  Of course we were not in a hurry.

There aren’t really words to describe the sheer beauty of this place and the peacefulness you felt when you were there.   As we traveled through the place .. we saw monks wandering leisurely by us.   Some were cleaning, some praying.. and some were … Playing video games???   PSP to be exact… that was definitely out-of-place.  (smile).

We traveled directly to the West temple… it was enormous… it consisted of three gardens, a very large koi pond, and 3 smaller temples.   Each smaller temple was surrounded by 4 or more pagodas that contain golden Buddhas.   Each large temple contained several Large golden Buddhas surrounding the interior, with a super large Jade buddhas in the middle with kneeling mats for us to use to pray.

There was the fourth temple with the reclining buddha with the cone-shaped head and really big ears that I think you have seen on TV before.. but.. it was at the top of the mountain, carved into a super large piece of Jade in a large cave.   I was not about to climb all the way up there.  We all know I am not good with large mountain climbing.

Michael being a non-buddhist really doesn’t care about temples and praying but he takes me because he knows my great love of them and my devotion to prayer there.  We finished walking thru the gardens and saw several more pagodas.   One in particular was a very tall pagoda that was called the couple pagoda.   Unfortunately, you had to climb about a million stairs to get to it. (not for me) … and lucky we didn’t go because I met one of my co-workers while walking along.. and she said that it was closed and you couldn’t get inside.   I would have been royally pissed walking up all those stairs for nothing.

We continued to walk thru the weeping willow trees and flowers until we found our way back to where we started.  There was a large Jade shop where we purchased our own Jade pieces.  I purchased an olive green, Jade bracelet with black spiderweb lines running thru it, a bright jade ring for my thumb and a milky, green jade car ornament with buddha for good luck to hang in our car from the rearview mirror for Michael.   Of course we had to bargain the price, Jade isn’t cheap you know even in the Jade Temple.

It was a beautiful day… I said prayers for my family in the states, Michael’s family, Michael and I’s good health and career.. and I burned some incense for my ancestor that have passed on.

I feel rejuvenated and ready for the next coming months.  The winter is coming so I will not be able to visit another temple comfortably until spring…then we will hit the Temple of 1000 buddhas in Hangzhou.. I can’t wait.

 

until next time…..

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