I just returned a few days ago from touring China for two weeks , and Tibet for three days. So, I want to post a few comments about my Spiritual experiences I found there, in order to stay current. ( I did not feel very spiritual there!)
Actually, seeing the Dali Lama’s Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet, is the last place on my Bucket List I really wanted to see before I die. So, now, The Lord has given me the Grace to make it happen, and I am grateful.
It was a good trip, with sunny days every day except our last day in Shanghai, China where we got a little rain. We visited Beijing, and did all of the Tourist tours, such as the Forbidden City, Great Wall, and saw the Terre Cotta Soldiers in Xian. We also took a 6 day Cruise down the Yahtzi River, and toured the cities along the way.
The Altitude of 12,400 feet at the Potala Palace made it difficult to breath. The air inside the Palace was rancid, because many Wax Candles were burning inside, along with Incense, sucking out the little remaining Oxygen and there was lots of air born dust and particulate from the candle wax and dust inside. Every thing inside was old, and not well maintained. Over all, I was not very impressed with what I saw. I doubt the Dali Lama would really desire to return and live there, in spite of his Political talk. He left there at age 25 and has a much better life now, where he is in India. Lhasa has been modernized a lot, since the Chinese took it over. They built a nice Airport and a lot of new Infrastructure.
We also visited the Monastery, where Monks are still living and studying, and also we visited a Nunnery. Its a hard life living there, in that high altitude, and it requires a lot of extra energy to even walk, much less feel comfortable. We were about 100 in our group, and all of us felt bad, but many vomited, and had to go to the Clinic and get treated interveniously. My wife and I were on Prescription Medication, but we still had headaches, and nasal dripping constantly. We all felt much better after we descended the Altitude.
We watched the Monks debate each other, in the Monastery Court Yard, with their hands clapping. Fun to watch. Many Pilgrims were prostrating outside , which many did for miles traveling from their Villages. In Summary, Tibetan Buddhism requires a much different Faith than I have, but each to their own.
As for China, there are 1.6 billion people there, spread out across the country, with Buddhism, Taoism, and a small amount of Christians and Jews. But the Chinese Govt. Keeps all Religeons separated completely from their Politics. But there seems to be freedom of religion, as long as it does not enter Politics.
China is growing rapidly, and grew 10% yearly for ten years in a row, so the large Cities are clean, and modern. New Building construction is going up all over, and the Apartment High rises look like another planet! The Communist Govt. owns all of the land, but leases parcels for private and commercial buildings for 70 year leases. It seems to be working quite well, because there is a building Boom! There are also mostly, new cars, with the same makes we have in the U.S. The traffic is heavy, in the cities, but no worse than our large cities.
All in all, China and Tibet were great to visit, ...but there is no place I’d rather be than right here in Virginia, the good old USA!
Until we meet again, I remain,...