onebir wrote:johnbecker wrote:Having spent many hours walking around the city, it can be deeply moving to think about what has disappeared and the money grabbing race to the bottom of the cesspit that has replaced it.
Know the feeling. Too many malls, too many Maidanglao.
Between that, the pollution & the prices, I don't see much need to be there.
(& BTW Thanks for the info on the Temple & pre-Cultrev 'modernisation' - I didn't realise. Even if you don't feel inclined to engage in a Liu Hongjie goosechase!
Indeed, and the Disneyfication of the more traditional areas is spreading like a cultural wildfire around the Drum and Bell tower area. When I first went there around 2010, the main street had many shops selling hotpot and other kitchen equipment. I saw only one this Spring Festival, and a large chunk of the street being 'renovated' for what looks to be some mall type set-up...The historic South Alleyway was fairly pleasant, the main attraction seemingly a traditional food shop (some kind of yogurt I think-I didn't try it). Now it would fit nicely in one of Dante's circles of hell: http://english.cctv.com/2016/04/30/VIDE ... 0430.shtml . This Spring Festival I saw some student age tourist girl with a telescopic lens camera nudge open a private gate so she could take pictures...
Beyond this year, I don't see myself staying. It gets more crowded and more stressful. Spring Festival, usually the nicest time of the year here, saw the place swarming with tourists (many locals now traveling rather than spending time with family during that period).
All the above said though, I love the White Cloud temple. It has a very peaceful feel to it and outside of Spring Festival is usually fairly quiet. Dongyue also has a peaceful feeling to it. Definitely worth visiting on their own merits.
Liu has been dead a number of years, so there is no guarantee of finding anyone that knew him back then at the temple now. Even supposing there is someone around, there is no guarantee that they would be willing to talk about it to strangers. After the Cultural Decimation, Tienanmen Square and the student crackdown, then the Falun business of 1999, many teachers are understandably wary. The current regime is not an open or tolerant one.
I realized a few years ago I could spend time training or spend time reading and researching, but that time could only be used for one thing. What was more important; attaining some skill or attaining knowledge? Some people have the rare talent of being a scholar and adept but for me just trying to improve is a full time job.
With the above in mind I prefer to spend my time on practices that I hope will benefit me and finding teachers able and willing to pass on this kind of knowledge. To me, and I hope for everyone, the most important thing is not so much what the ancestors could do, but what level I can bring my own level up to?