April 04, 2018

Sacred Sanctuaries

Taktshang Pelphug

Meditation has been practiced since antiquity in numerous religious traditions and beliefs. Since the 19th century, it has spread from its Indian origins to other cultures where it is commonly practiced in private and business life. Meditation is under psychological, neurological, and cardiovascular research to define its possible health effects.

Hanging suspended in the air as if they are reaching toward the stars, these monasteries serve to prove that a quest for silence, serenity, and inner peace can be so great as to drive men to build unimaginable things in the most unimaginable places. Monks, priests, and devotees of different cultures and faiths climbed the hardest paths in search of “better views,” and with prayers and meditation have heard truth in the purity of silence that only a mountain can provide.

Hanging Temple in Henshang Mountain at China Asia

In China, Buddhists, Confucianists, and Taoists found it by meditating in silence in the gravity-defying Hanging Temple, built 250 feet up on a cliff of Mount Hengshan 1,500 years ago. Statues of Siddhartha, Confucius, and Lao Tzu enshrined together in the San Jiao Hall, one of the 40 halls and cabinets inside the temple, prove that while “silence is a source of great strength, knowing others is wisdom” (Lao Tzu) and “virtue is not left to stand alone. He who practices it will have neighbors” (Confucius).

Sumela monastery near Trabzon, Turkey

Meteora, Greece

San Colombano


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