Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Changling Ming Tomb

World Heritage Sites

According to UNESCO, these tombs were added to the World Heritage List because they are "masterpieces of human creative genius by reason of their organic integration into nature, and a unique testimony to the cultural and architectural traditions of the last two feudal dynasties (Ming and Qing) in the history of the China between the 14th and 20th centuries."

Quite a mouthful I agree, but since I've been doing a lot of tour bashing lately, I wanted to end this China segment with our morning visit to this incredible site.  I don't regret going on this tour.  I think everyone who "attempts" China for the first time should go with an escort.  The second time?  (which I am highly considering).  No way!

This tomb is only 31 miles from Beijing so it is a popular stop on the touring circuit.  It is the tomb of the third emperor of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and only one small part of a huge complex.  The gates, courtyards and richly decorated carvings make it a memorable stop.
Our tour guide talked a lot about feng shui  because these tombs were all situated according to these principles.  The cold winds blowing from the north needed to be deflected so they were built in a protected area at the foot of the mountains.  It is a tranquil, serene environment with all the elements of  feng shui included, like running water and long paths for the free flow of chi.

I took what I learned home with me.  The week after my return, I added wind chimes to my front porch and installed a water fountain in my back patio.  I could not believe the peace it brought to me almost immediately.

  Something had been wrong from the very first day we moved into our little cottage on its oddly shaped lot.  I now knew what it was.  That harmony between the house and the earth was missing.  Over the years we continued to make improvements:  To right the wrong.  We put in a large picture window.  Added roses, bougainvillea and birdbaths.  The spirits were happy.  And so were we.

 I end this post with one last photograph:  A glimpse of the Ming Tomb through the early morning fog.  This is why I want to return to China.  Alone.  I want to soak in these incredible views.  I want to take long walks in the mountains.  I want to see a more enchanting side to this vast country.  Study its arts.  With no time frame and no itinerary.  My only escort being the life force that binds us all together.

1 comment:

  1. I love your explanation of needing harmony between the house and the earth. I love windchimes just for this reason and though it can get rather noisy on windy days I just let the 6 sets of chimes ring like crazy. I often wonder if it drives the neighbors crazy. But it sure beats their power vent drier noise!