Saturday, March 05, 2016

Temple of Heaven

They say Disney World is "the happiest place on Earth," but I have been there, and this is a lie. (No offense intended to my Disney loving friends!) Today, we visited the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, and I believe the slogan would be much more accurate if applied to this lovely place instead. I don't know when I have ever been in a place that exuded quite so much positivity. It was a place filled with music, dancing, games, and people of all kinds in pursuit of physical and emotional well-being. And, I have never seen a display of community to match the likes of it.

The Temple of Heaven was originally built in the 1400s, as a place of worship for the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties. And, while the beautiful temple structures are still in place, today, the extensive grounds, dotted with ancient trees, make up an incredible park, which is accessible to all for a small fee. We saw groups performing a variety of dances, playing unusual instruments, practicing Tai Chi and Bailong, flying kites, working on gymnastic moves, exercising, and playing cards, dominoes, Chinese chess, and Jianzi (Chinese hacky sack). Adults and children played side by side, and everyone wore a smile. We were invited to play and participate in any activity we showed an interest in. And, as a bonus, the weather was perfect! We enjoyed the day so much and would love to visit this inspirational place again in the future!

Dancing, music, Tai Chi, Bailong, and gymnastics
are just a few of the activities we saw int he park.

There were people gathered everywhere to play games,
and our kids were happy to get in on the action. 

There was a huge section of the park devoted to workout equipment.
We were happy to get physical and gave it all a try!

Some of the beautiful temple structures

The center of my universe standing at the spot known as
"The Center of the Universe"

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