Favorite Quotes

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  • "I'm so busy.... I don't know if I found a rope... or lost my donkey! - Unknown"
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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

China - Buddhist Temple

We got to visit a Buddhist Temple in Beijing called the Lama Temple.

Built in 1694, the Lama Temple (or Palace of Peace and Harmony) was the residence of Prince Yin Zhen, a son of Emperor Kang Xi of the Qing Dynasty. After the prince came to the throne, half of the residence was used as an imperial palace and the other half was converted to a lamasery. It is a current functioning monastery where many burn incense to Buddha.

I did not realize it, but there are actually many, many kinds of Buddha. When you enter the temple, you enter the first of five "halls". Each hall has a different type of Buddha. One of the halls has the "Happiness Buddha" which is the smiling Buddha that so many people rub for good luck. The last hall contains a Buddha statue that is 72 feet tall. It is carved out of a single tree trunk of white sandal wood. Before each hall are large containers where incense sticks can be burned. Then people kneel on the benches in front of the hall to Worship. This Buddha is in the Guiness Book of World Records.

I did not know until I visited China that the current Dali Lama is exhiled from The People's Republic of China because of his efforts to seperate Tibet from The Republic of China.

When China became a communist country, Buddhism was highly discouraged because it was considered superstitious in nature. But today, people are allowed to worship freely. We were told several times that now in China there are both more Christians and more Buddhists that Communists.

Yes....look closely...that is a Monk on a cell phone!!!

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