Gansu Lamasery, China. Buddhist monasteries and temples in China
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Without temples and, of course, monasteries, it is impossible to imagine China, because they occupy the main place in the spiritual life of the Chinese
Tibet attracts us with mystery and inaccessibility, legends about mysterious antiquity, saturated with sacred air. A rare traveler does not dream of getting there. We see Tibet as a place where time has stopped, and it did so because it realized that it had nowhere to go and there was no need. Tibetans in China, like hundreds of years ago, lead the way of life that is unique to these places.
Buddhism has had a huge impact on the philosophy and culture of China. A special type of Buddhism was formed here, which absorbed many elements of Taoism and traditional Chinese culture. During the times of the Tang and Sun dynasties, Buddhism in China reached its greatest influence and flourishing. Xuan Zang, a famous Chinese monk, undertook an epic journey to India that lasted 17 years. He brought with him from there precious sutras, which he later translated into Chinese, which made an invaluable contribution to the development of Buddhism in China. In China, eight Buddhist schools spread: "Three Doctrines", "Dharmalaxan", "Avatamsaka", "Vinaya", "Tiantai", "Tantra", "Pure Land" and "Chan", which is also widely known under its Japanese name Zen.
In recent decades, the Sacred Mountains of China have gained increasing popularity and as tourist sites. Nine Sacred Mountains in China are considered to be spiritual symbols, five of which are worshiped by Taoist adherents and four by Buddhism. Since ancient times, both groups of mountains are places of mass pilgrimage for believers, the very word "pilgrimage" in the Chinese language is formed by the expression "pay tribute to the sacred mountain".
Chinese monasteries and temples are the cradle of ancient religions
From ancient times Tibet was divided into three huge areas: U-Tsang - the heart of the kingdom, the modern autonomous region, Amdo - the modern provinces of Qinghai and southern Gansu, and Kham - the western Sichuan and north-western Yunnan. And throughout this vast territory Tibetans live to this day. Gansu Province lies in northwestern China. It is inhabited by about 26 million people. Most of the inhabitants are Huizu or Hui and Tibetans. The region is rich in diverse landscapes, including parts of the Gobi Desert, the Yellow River, numerous mountain formations, the remains of the Great Silk Road and the Great Wall of China.
Despite the anxiously kept spiritual teachings and traditions, Chinese temples and monasteries are open to all visitors. The requirement for tourists is one thing - the behavior corresponding to the holy places. In remote provinces, almost no one speaks English. Not all people in China can read. It's better to have pictures of everything you need. It is very likely that your Visa or Master Card will not work, you need cash yuan. Only this ensures successful payment.
The mountains are closest to the sky. In the mountains, seeing their greatness, under the clear blue of the boundless sky, one can feel that all worries and sorrows are insignificant and fleeting, that one must live here and now. Passions, unrest, anxiety do not seem so important anymore, worries go somewhere far away. Perhaps that is why many monasteries were built in the mountains, in the rocks. Where you can merge with clarity and purity.
From time immemorial, a man climbs into the mountains and builds dwellings, churches, monasteries in completely unthinkable, inaccessible places. Some lead to such solitude faith, others - persecution, third - the test, self-knowledge. But, whatever the reason, at the core of it, I think, is the desire to rise above the earth, above the ordinariness and vanity of life, closer to the sky. And what is there in the sky? For some, this is God, for others, Cosmos, the Absolute, the Unknown. And, maybe, somewhere among the stars, a forgotten Motherland is lost, a vague but overwhelming memory of which still lives somewhere in our genes.
What can be brought from China as a gift? If you don't know much about the tastes and preferences of colleagues, relatives and friends, but want to bring them a souvenir, focus on universal things: figurines, porcelain, tea and silk. If you plan a more expensive gift - appliances and electronics will be a great choice. Figurines Traditional Chinese crafts - one of the universal gifts that can be purchased for friends. Everyone can put on a shelf a figurine in the form of a lioness with a lion cub, meaning motherhood and respect for children, a dragon - bringing peace, Buddha - meaning prudence. Geisha with an umbrella - will be an original option for unusual people.
China porcelain. The lightest, most delicate material and products made of it are one of the main assets of the country and make up a significant part of exports. Who does not know the Beijing, white and blue porcelain of the Ming Dynasty? A fragile, but worthy gift for relatives is sold everywhere and is designed for any wallet. Vases, figurines, tea sets and souvenir plates can be bought in antique salons in China, having spent a considerable amount or purchased at retail outlets in bazaars, where they offer options much cheaper. Tea and tea ceremony kit This souvenir will be one of the best for tea lovers. From a variety of offers, eyes are scattered: clay, ceramic, porcelain - for every taste and budget. Various varieties of invigorating drink are attached to them. Green, black, puer, rare yellow or white Chinese teas, milk oolong will please your loved ones.
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