Hangzhou, China – Lingyin Temple

Twice a year I am in China for product development. My days usually consist of meeting with factories and developing product. I go to sleep at 9pm, wake up around 3am, and work the entire day.

The last trip I had a Sunday off. My Chinese colleague took me and another NJ coworker to the Buddhist Temple Lingyin. It’s in the city of Hangzhou -a lovely town with a restful and often “wake” free lake in the center. My hotel – just across from the lake – has a view of lovers, bikers, kiters and boaters.

The temple is 10 minutes outside of Hangzhou up a road that snakes around the west side of the lake. Inside the temple grounds there is a river and hundreds of carvings of buddha’s cut into the rock walls. Most of the buddhas have had their faces smashed beyond recognition. Their faces are blank and the remaining rocks have been smoothed over by rain and centuries of element degrading time.

Unlike in the US the Chinese can approach the carvings at will because there are few barriers to keep tourists away.

Up the mountain toward the temples, incense is for sale. It is set alight at the entrance of each temple by the worshipper and used to pray with. I lit incense, prayed and tossed the remains into the iron pits like the others.

3 or more temples stair step up the mountain. Each temple has a separate prayerful purpose, and the climb is a pilgrimage of buddhist proportions. Aside from having a hell of a hangover and climbing stairs toward the apex of the mountain – the experience was f*n awesome.

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