On my second major holiday journey during my time in China, I traveled to northern Sichuan Province to visit Jiuzhaigou National Park. This was the only time I visited a Tibetan region of China as it was (and still is) rather difficult for foreigners to access the province of Tibet.jiuzhaigou_monk

I stayed in Shuzheng village to avoid paying a second entrance fee for my two days in the park–during national holidays the park only grants single-day admission tickets. After pushing through the crowds at the entrance to the village, I came across a small Buddhist temple. It was nearly devoid of tourists and provided a sense of peace among the throngs of tourists that set upon the park. I met the monk who resided there with a little help in the translation–my Chinese wasn’t very good and his English was non-existent. He was the first Buddhist monk I met, which is odd since there were quite a few that visited my graduate school.

Through the course of our meeting, I was blessed with a Tibetan prayer. It was the first time a monk had blessed me, but it wasn’t the last. I was also blessed and given a threaded bracelet at a Burmese Buddhist temple in Penang, Malaysia. The thread broke within a few days, but it has lived on inside my wallet–it has stayed there for over four years.

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  1. […] Everywhere we looked there were pieces of Tibetan culture–brightly painted buildings, jinfan and longda sending prayers through the wind, and mills powered by the rivers (and some prayer wheels turned by the same flowing waters). It was at the temple in Shuzheng village that I was blessed by a Tibetan monk. […]

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