Tuesday, July 19, 2016

A Return to The Temple of Soul's Retreat

Well the teaching part of my journey hasn't even been over for 24 hours and the vacation part has already started.  The other American teachers and I went to the LingYin temple (Temple of Soul's Retreat) today.  I spent some time at this temple last summer as well, in fact it was exactly one year ago to the day, and was just as enlightened visiting a second time.  You can read about my visit to the temple last summer here.  This year I got proof of my visit to the 1,600 year old temple!

I was actually able to see some temples I never made it to last summer, including a small yet stunningly beautiful temple at the top of a mountain.  A cable car was required to get to the temple and once there beautiful views of Hangzhou were surrounding us.

We could see the entire city laid out in front of us.  Being up so high, movement was impossible to see in the city below leaving us with an eerily peaceful, still view of a city of seven million.

As we climbed a few stairs to the next platform, a soft chanting could be heard in the distance.  Incense was burning all around and it was nearly impossible to feel relaxed.

We traveled through to the back of the temple, following the chanting and came across a group of monks chanting a mantra and praying to a large wooden Buddha statue.  It was glorious.  This was one of those out of body moments where I step back in disbelief amazed at where my life has led me.  I could have stayed all day and listened to the chanting as it brought a feeling of peacefulness just by listening.  Unfortunately, though, we came towards the end of their ritual and they retreated to their homes about ten minutes after our arrival.

This is most certainly one of those moments of travel I will never forget.  It just all came together so perfectly.

Tomorrow we are fortunate enough to be going away for a night to "The Venice of China".  I am extremely excited to see what this new town is all about.  It's sure to be yet another wonderful experience.

Until then, check out this STUDENT DIRECTED video promoting the school I have been working at.  It truly made me proud to be part of such a progressive student centered school, even if it is only for a couple of weeks.  It's great knowing that by being here and working with the teachers and students, I am adding to the progressive education Greentown is providing.

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