About one and one half hours outside of Beijing, up a mountainous area you will find Tanzhe Temple, a Buddhist temple.
We decided to venture out there with our friends Baron, Irene and James. I went to college with Irene’s brother in law Orestes, and we stayed with Kate and Orestes when we visited Thailand. It is such small world. So when we got Beijing, I IM’d Baron right away to tell him the good news.
I hired a driver who picked us up in River Garden and then headed downtown to get the Lobstein family. It was a pleasant drive and just outside the city you can feel the clean air wanting to seep through the pollution.
Right away Linnea saw *something* she wanted to buy. Oh these tweens really run hot and cold. If you tell them you *might* buy something depending on the attitude, then they try to act excited about the activity but the *something* they want is only for the moment and not a forever *something* until the next *something* comes along. Then if you decide the *something* is crap and don’t want to buy it, everything is thrown out the window, attitude and all.
Well on to the temple…
It was quite beautiful with a lot of details at which to admire.
They had a huge prayer wheel. According to Wikipedia a prayer wheel is a cylindrical wheel (Tibetan: འཁོར་, Wylie: ‘khor) on a spindle made from metal, wood, stone, leather or coarse cotton. Traditionally, the mantra Om Mani Padme Hum is written in Sanskrit on the outside of the wheel. Also sometimes depicted are Dakinis, Protectors and very often the 8 auspicious symbols Ashtamangala. At the core of the cylinder is a “Life Tree” often made of wood or metal with certain mantras written on or wrapped around it. Many thousands (or in the case of larger prayer wheels, millions) of mantras are then wrapped around this life tree. The Mantra Om Mani Padme Hum is most commonly used, but other mantras may be used as well. According to the Tibetan Buddhist tradition based on the lineage texts regarding prayer wheels, spinning such a wheel will have much the same meritorious effect as orally reciting the prayers.
James in front of the prayer wheel.
Aidan and I tried to be thoughtful as we walked around the prayer wheel.
People were lighting their incense.
I loved the attention to detail and the various textures you would see.
When we got to the top, we were able to take a group shot.
James was a big hit, even among the little ones.
It wasn’t a ton of walking, but someone needed a short break.
What do you think they were trying to say with this sign?
I liked taking pictures of the Lobstein family.
We didn’t stop off at the Tea House, but it looked nice.
Near the prayer wheel, we discovered this buddha. It had a swastika on its chest so Baron decided to look up the definition of a swastika.
It was time for lunch. There was one restaurant after another. People were motioning for you to enter their restaurant, and why we picked the one we did, I don’t know. Apparently this restaurant was known for fish. It was an ok meal.
We did NOT choose to go to this restaurant.
After eating, I wanted to see the little town. Okay, it wasn’t much of a town. There wasn’t a center area; it was street after street.
It was a nice trip that wasn’t too far outside the city.
Always up for some adventure.