China’s capital is at its most magical early in the morning. Few cities have such a profound sense of history as Beijing. It whispers down the grand boulevards, cries out from its megaliths and monuments, echoes in its palatial courts. And despite the fact that Chairman Mao’s mausoleum now looks over the Colonel’s Kentucky Fried, nothing of the past.

Tiantan Park - Beijing - China
Tiantan Park – Beijing – China

Unlike its more sassy sister cities of Shanghai and Hong Kong, where an energized nightlife rocks into the wee hours, Beijing seemingly slumbers after 10. But, like most Chinese communities, its parks and plazas spring alive to greet the rising sun with tai chi and other sports, some I could recognize, others I don’t. We visited Tiantan Park early in the morning to see thousands of Beijingers starting the day with tai chi. Tiantan Park, hugely popular among locals as a venue not only for tai chi, but also for myriad of activities from ballroom dancing to croquet to Chinese martial arts, and as we experienced, massive opera singing activities as can be seen on the video we made this summer. So Tiantan park is an ethereal place to visit,especially in the gentle morning light when old folks are practicing their tai chi and qigong, opera singing and sword dancing. A place where Beijing can catch its breath from the relentless and perplexing change of recent years.

Vieuw Gallery Tiantan Park – Beijing – China

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Tibetan Dharma protacter Oracle Gyalchen karma thrinly& Thegtse Rinpoche

Tibetan Dharma protacter Oracle Gyalchen karma thrinly& Thegtse Rinpoche

Like many ancient civilizations of the world, the phenomenon of oracles remains an important part of the Tibetan way of life. Tibetans rely on oracles for various reasons. The purpose of the oracles is not just to foretell the future. They are called upon as protectors and sometimes used as healers. However, their primary function is to protect the Buddha Dharma and its practitioners. In the Tibetan tradition, the word oracle is used for a spirit which enters those men and women who act as mediums between the natural and the spiritual realms. The mediums are, therefore, known as kuten, which literally means, “the physical basis.”
In early times it is believed that there were hundreds of oracles throughout Tibet. Today, only a few survive, including those consulted by the Tibetan government. Of these, the principal one is the Nechung oracle. Through him manifests Dorje Drak-den (Nechung), the principal protector divinity of the Tibetan government and the Dalai Lama (see History of Nechung Monastery). It is because of this that Nechung Kuten is given the rank of a deputy minister in the exiled Tibetan government hierarchy.

“Just as the great oceans have but one taste, the taste of salt, so too there is but one taste fundamental to all true teachings of the way, and this is the taste of freedom.”

Buddha