Puning Si – tibetan cloister in China.

In-between two worlds – tibetan monks in China.

We like our world to be black and white. But gray shades make the world so fascinating.

For us this is an unusual scene: a Chinese administration official next to a tibetan monk in his monestary – not in Tibet but in China.
The China-Tibet Conflict moves the western world and even makes “Free Tibet” to a common bumper sticker.
In a sense this topic is from international, cosmopolitan relevance. On vogue.

Pretty moving, that Puning Si was built in 1755 already. It was built as “Monestary of comprehensive pacification” to oppose something to the uprising conflict. That was over two centuries ago. A place that was worth a journey to me and already a fascinating place during travel planning.
The monestary Puning Si was established to celebrate the uprising Mandschurian Empire, to pacify the Tibetans and to
give grace to higher spirits.
This was also shown by its architecture: in front Chinese, in the back of the area a little higher on the hill Tibetan.

And today?

The Buddhist temple is liable to the Office for religious Affairs of the Chinese State Counsil and is part of the National Key Buddhist Temples in Han Chinese Area.
The monks living there are part of the lamaistic church of yellow hats.

Inspiring World?

Puning Si is not only an inspiring place because of its history and stunning architecture.
It is a place that cannot really be “grasped”.
A place of nuances that can be felt by normal western tourists like me, but they are not for me to be deciphered.
Tension is in the air, but monks and officials encounter it with emphatic equanimity.

To the complexity of our daily lives we react with stereotyped thinking and by assessing nearly everything and everybody we encounter in a matter of seconds. This approach is not for Puning Si.
Because of its complexity it seems impossible to be categorized by anybody.

Puning Si – is a place for me that invites us to simply let situations and people sink in. Without evaluation. In all their gray shades.

Travel Information:
In the state of high speed trains it takes about 4 hours by slow train to get to Chengde, north of Beijing.
Extended family, business people and peasents are on their way and there is always freshly brewed, hot tee. No matter where, there is always hot water for free – even in a slow train.


    – Baedeker, Allianz Reiseführer, China, 9. Auflage 2011
    – https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puning-Tempel
    – https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nationale_Schwerpunkttempel_des_Buddhismus_in_han-chinesischen_Gebieten#Hubei

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