Monday, October 08, 2007

Taoists and Buddhas

We were able to bike to two of the more famous temples in Beijing...one a Taoist temple and one a Tibetan Buddhist temple. The Dongyue Temple follows traditional religious customs and is considered 'the way'. Much of the temple is broken up into departments of religious type worship including devotions to the Chinese concept of hell.We were lucky enough to arrive at the temple in the middle of a traditional Chinese theater performance. The characters were absurd and hilarious and I was pleasantly surprised at how well acted it was. Ever actor stayed in character throughout, even when they were off stage. The costumes and make-up were colorfully vibrant and made the performance that much more enjoyable.

video

We also went to the Lama Temple which is Beijing's largest temple. The air was rich with burning incense which were so overwhelming I got a headache.

The grounds were laid out ancestral shrines and prayer markers. We even saw a rather modern looking monk with tennis shoes and a backpack.Both temples were completely different from those I've visited in Korea. It was shocking how different the Buddhist temple was compared to the one I visited.

What religious beliefs do you subscribe to?

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