03 February 2018

Finding Peace at Yunju Temple - Beijing - China

Yunju Temple - Beijing - China

Yunju Temple was a whole new place for me to see in Beijing and the first destination we visited when we arrived. Our guide for the day was my Dad's friend who studies Buddhism and says it's his favourite place to visit when he's feeling stressed as it's a nice quiet place to relax and contemplate. I had been going through a stressful time prior to my trip to Beijing so it seemed like a great place for me to visit to find some inner peace and put me in a happier mindset for the rest of my trip.

Yunju Temple - Beijing - China

The temple is about an hour outside of Beijing and set amongst some peaceful mountains. I already felt much calmer upon our arrival there just being surrounded by the beautiful nature a stark contrast to the busy city of Beijing. It was the perfect setting for a temple and we were only a handful of people visiting that day so pretty much had the whole place to ourselves.

Yunju Temple - Beijing - China

The temple has six main halls of worship which are set on different levels that you reach by stone steps and each hall represents a different stage of Buddha's life from birth, to enlightenment, to death. I found the layout of this temple very interesting as the journey you made up each stairway to each different hall of worship seemed to reflect Buddha's ascension to Nirvana and the highest hall in the temple contained Buddha relics which resembled small pearls.

Yunju Temple - Beijing - China

In each hall of worship my Dad's friend would share stories of Buddha's life and it made me realise just how little I actually know about Buddha. I've had experiences of Buddhism my whole life with my family in Thailand being Buddhists but most of what I know is practice and very little about Buddha himself so hearing these stories made me want to learn more about him and gain a better understanding about the religion as a whole.

Yunju Temple - Beijing - China

I wouldn't call myself a religious person, I'm pretty open minded when it comes to beliefs and although I may not follow a specific one I do respect them and I enjoy visiting places of worship as they're often peaceful and give a good insight into people and different cultures. Buddhism I find particularity interesting though not only because of my family but because it's about personal growth, finding inner peace and enlightenment which I think is a good life goal for anyone to want to achieve.

Yunju Temple - Beijing - China

It was nice to walk around the temple and see so many practising monks there, each were busy reading scriptures, using prayer beads or just helping clean up the temple grounds. The quiet setting of this temple makes a nice peaceful place for the monks to just sit and meditate. It would be a great place for a temple-stay to but unfortunately I don't think that's something Yunju currently offers.

Yunju Temple - Beijing - China

One of the things I was most astonished and humbled at was seeing was all these stone tablets with Buddhist scriptures carved into them. There are a total of 14,278 of these stone tablets and the first was carved by a monk named Jinwan in the seventh century as he wanted a more permanent way to preserve the scriptures due to the fact Buddhists were facing persecution, he hid these tablets in caves surrounding the temple and work on carving these stone tablets continued for more than 1000 years. Now the excavated tablets are housed in a special "Sutra Palace" under the temple built less that 20 years ago and it's amazing to see just how well preserved they are considering their ancient age.

Yunju Temple - Beijing - China

My mind was in an unhealthy place before my journey to Beijing but this visit to Yunju helped ease some of those worries and I really enjoyed the calming atmosphere and the new things I had learned that day. Yunju is definitely one of the most interesting temples I've visited in a while and well worth a trip out of Beijing to see if only to enjoy some peace and quiet away from city life.



What places do you visit when you need to find some peace?
Love & Peace
Cate
xoxo


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