5/31/09

second to supta vajrasana

practiced Second to Supta Vajrasana today.

wall and towers of Pingyao

the Pingyao city wall was first built between 827B.C. and 728B.C. with earth and mud to defend the city during the Zizhou Xuanwang period. when it was expanded and rebuilt in 1370A.D., the original earth and mud was covered with stones and bricks. the total length of the city wall is 6.4km. it is 10 meters high and 5 meters wide. there are 72 towers and 3,000 crenels. Pingyao is called the "tortoise city" and some scholars consider it to be one of the first cities of North China. it is a world heritage site. the first pictures are of the Ying Xun Gate at the end of South Street.




the wall affords expansive views over the rooftops of the city. large life-like sculptures are placed at different locations.




5/30/09

practiced flowing construction

i practiced Second today, well the front end of it. i like the words (0v0) uses sometimes of "tectonic changes in the practice". that would apply to mine. i'm still there at the mat an hour and a half at minimum. my mind gets distracted and i have to remember the teachers in the Zendo back in San Francisco who used to say that when you're meditating and thoughts arise, don't invite them to tea, don't engage them. the same would apply to the time during yoga practice. when thoughts arise, let them pass like taxis, maybe label them, but let the physical asana continue flowing. it's easier to say that than to put it in practice when I'm doing self practice. i put the camera on a tripod in front of me as if it represented the teacher watching. on the good side, Springy Sitarist said, when he anticipated i might move to a place where i would not be able to practice with others too often, to not be afraid of practicing by myself over a long time. it can be healing. i'm not sure what it heals. another cybershalamate reminded me offblog that ultimately yoga practice is self-practice. OK. some days i'm satisfied with doing standing sequence, experimenting with some poses of 3rd Series and closing.

it's Sunday, but it's a work day. i'm writing while on lunch break. people do take the Sunday-to-work-after-the-holiday seriously. the construction site nearby is humming away since early this morning. the workplace is full. as a foreign national, though, it still feels like a Sunday to me. i don't hear the phone ringing, though. i'm sure it will ring tomorrow.

Cheng Huang and Confuscius Temples in Pingyao

these are the Chen Huang Temple and the Confuscius Temple located within the city walls of Pingyao. the Confuscius Temple was originally built in the early reign of Emperor Li Shimin of the Tang Dynasty (618-907AD). the Dacheng Hall is the earliest in China, earlier than the ones in Beijing and Nanjing; it was rebuilt in 1163 AD during the Jin Dynasty. these buildings are beautifully maintained. one can view colorful painted roof eaves, and glazed clay tiles at the edges of roofs.




the underside of roofs are painted. stone carvings at the base of columns


life-like sculptures


roofs and ornate entrance porches




life-like sculptures depict the dress of the ancient times


the column capitals have delicate wood carvings



weeping willow trees in the courtyard


an ancient flour mill, where horses would assist in making the stone turn around to break the wheat.



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