The Western Hill Forest Park

Kunming tours, Kunming trips, travel guide, tour guide, car rental

Kunming tours, Kunming trips, travel guide, tour guide, car rental

Situated on the western side of Dianchi Lake, the Western Hill Forest Park is also known as Green Peacock Mountian. It’s 12 kilometers away from Kunming proper. Seen from afar, it looks like a sleeping beauty or sleeping Buddha with the back lying along Dianchi Lake. So the locals call the Western Hills “Sleeping Beauty Mountain” or “Sleeping Buddha Mountain”. Here there are such scenic spots as Taihua Temple, Huating Temple, Sanqing Temple, Dragon Gate Grotto, Magnolia Garden, Shenan Pavilion and the Tomb of Nie Er.

The Huating Temple is situated along the road to the top of the Western Hills, which is located at an elevation of 2040 meters. Most of the buildings were constructed in 1920, a Zen monk named Xuyun went everywhere to raise money to build it . It consists of the Hall of Four Heavenly King, Hall of Great Power and Bell Tower. It was designed with the most typical layout which is called “seven guardian buildings”. This temple is the largest and most magnificent Buddhist temple in Kunming.

The Taihua Temple houses a elegant collection of Magnolia trees and plum trees. Next to the gate there is a Ginko tree, it’s said that it was planted by Yunwen Zhu, a emperor in Ming Dynasty.

Sanqingge is located at an elevation of 2,200 meters. It’s a complex of old buildings constrcuted along steep cliffs of Luohan Mountain. In Yuan Dynasty, it was used as the summer resort of King Liang, later it was restored as a Daoism Temple. Until the Qianlong and Daoguang Periods of the Qing Dynasty, it was extened into a temple with 9 stories and 11 pavilions.

 

Mahayana is the dominant form of Buddhism in China, Japan, Korea, Tibet, Vietnam, and several other nations. Since its origin about 2,000 years ago, Mahayana Buddhism has divided into many sub-schools and sects with a vast range of doctrines and practices. This includes Vajrayana schools, such as Tibetan Buddhism, which are often counted as a separate “yana” or vehicle but which are founded on Mahayana teachings.

It is difficult to make any blanket statements about Mahayana that hold true for all of Mahayana. For example, many Mahayana schools offer a devotional path for laypeople, but others are primarily monastic. Some are centered on a meditation practice, while others have replaced meditation with chanting and prayer.

To define Mahayana, it is useful to understand how it is distinctive from the other major school of Buddhism, Theravada.

The Enlightenment of All Beings

While Theravada emphasizes individual enlightenment, Mahayana emphasizes the enlightenment of all beings.

The Mahayana ideal is to become a bodhisattva who strives to liberate all beings from the cycle of birth and death.

Beneath the bodhisattva ideal is an understanding of the doctrine of anatman — the nature of the self — that differs from that of Theravada. Very basically, Theravada considers anatman to mean that an individual’s ego or personality is a fetter and delusion. Once freed of this delusion, the individual may enjoy the bliss of Nirvana.

Mahayana, on the other hand, considers all physical forms to be void of intrinsic self (a teaching called sunyata, which means “emptiness”). Therefore, according to Mahayana, individual enlightenment is not possible. The ideal in Mahayana is to enable all beings to be enlightened together, not only out of a sense of compassion, but because we cannot separate ourselves from each other.

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