• Fantasy Lands

    • More than three thousand meters of mountains lead us through corners of recognition and spiritual transition, this natural shelter is the millenary cradle of transcendental searches in a landscape that pierces clouds.

    Mount Emei: the sacred portal to China’s first Buddhist monastery / 

    Buddhism, because of its universal philosophy, is one of the few religions that do not venerate a supreme god. This characteristic entails that people, any one of us, have a divine origin. And in this sense it is possibly the most democratic religion: the spiritual pursuit is a path of possible perfection, and it is perhaps even necessary, as part of the natural evolution of consciousness.

    When it arrived in China, this transcendental philosophy had its most significant reception with the construction of the first Buddhist temple, an expression of evident acceptance. The first monastery was built on Mount Emei, one of the religion’s four sacred mountains in that country, the mount, located in the southeast, in the Shu state, rises 3,099 meters and it is considered the sacred cradle of this spiritual tradition in China.

    Emei is home to seventeen monasteries and some of them, in addition to Buddhism, were used to practice the millenary arts of China, a mystical syncretism that occurred in few other places. The monasteries rise on different levels, kindly blending in with the landscape, and settle atop imminent terraces. The mountain’s most emblematic monument is a giant Buddha called the Great Buddha Leshan, which is seventy meters tall, erected in the 18th century, and serenated by the three rivers that converge in its hillside.

    The first Emei monastery was built in the 5th century, and an enormous golden bodhisattva Samantabhadra statue, the protector of the mountain, was also erected and used an impressive seventy tons of bronze. Today there is a cable car that carries the travellers to the top, but the true followers go by foot, some seventy kilometers in three days, crossing prairies and ancient stairs.

    The most contemplative locations on Emei are its clouded valleys, which are formed at the feet of those who visit, where, according to legend, one can see the light of Buddha. Hundreds of pilgrims of yore threw themselves into the light because they believed that Buddha himself was calling them… the forest landscape, the calm, the architectural allegory that alludes to the natural rhythm of the landscape, and this philosophy’s stele, are breaths of self-perfection; a legacy that traverses stairways and nooks: Mount Emei seems to be made for profound musings. 

    Tagged: Mount Emei, China, destinations, Fantasy Lands, trips and travelers