I used to think of China as a Communist country with no spiritual expression. I was wrong! You can’t keep powerful belief hidden away. It will express itself!
Old China may have been repressed but today’s China is resurrecting its sacred temples. Large cultural districts are being preserved among the modern skylines.
Dotting the countryside, mesmerizing in night significance, the pagodas live on.
In Hangzhou, a smaller city hours from Shanghai with only 7 million or so (!), the guide brings our tour group to the five-storey Lei Feng Pagoda near West Lake.
The very top is pure gold, shining above it all.
Underneath the foundation hold a history lesson. This pagoda has been recently rebuilt, constructed over the very ruins of the original. The ancient bricks each hosted a verse of Buddhist wisdom inside and these became sacred treasures for millions of visitors who secretly carted them away. How many homes in China have these precious artifacts hidden behind their Buddha statues for a powerful connection?
After five flights of stairs, the dome at the top of the pagoda is exquisite.
Looking out you can see why this original temple was built here. Its value lies in the commanding view of the lake and the city below.
The Emperor’s boat is awaiting his pleasure…
In the grounds below, huge ponds still lie in quietness.
The greenery seems alive with a moving essence of something! Can you feel it – the life force?
Resting spots refresh the soul.
At the outer courts of the Hanshan Temple near Suzhou, armloads of incense perfume the air.
Would you too want to tie on a prayer ribbon?
A golden Buddha exudes a peaceful countenance a people stop to meditate.
Rich tapestries and ornate decor entice me to drink it all in. A deep sigh is hardly sufficient and I say a small prayer for all of you.
How this next picture got exposed on my camera is beyond me. Are we all spiritual monks seeking the light, but hidden to our physical sight?
In departing the temple grounds, I too rub the lion cub and say to myself, “China, you astound me!”