After spending a day in Xi’an, I picked up my backpack at the train station and took the night train, arriving in Luoyang when the sun was rising. I found a bus that would take me to the famous Longmen Grottoes, which was one of the places I had been looking forward to visiting the most.
Grateful for my planning skills, I arrived at the caves early in the morning, without too many eyes glaring in my direction. Or maybe I was just too consumed by the beautiful surroundings to notice, because the Longmen caves was for me a truly magical place. Tens of thousands of statues of Buddha and his disciples. Artificial caves with carved rock reliefs and statues, ranging from 2 cm to 17 m in height.
According to Wikipedia, in 2000 the site was inscribed upon the UNESCO World Heritage List as “an outstanding manifestation of human artistic creativity,” for its perfection of an art form, and for its encapsulation of the cultural sophistication of Tang China.
For the last few years, I had been feeling an increasing pull towards the Buddhist way of living, so I felt truly blessed to be in a spiritual centre of this source of wisdom. Every day of my journey, I had learned something new about myself. And at that moment, when I was looking at this amazing piece of culture, I knew that I wanted to dive even deeper into my self-consciousness.
When my feet could carry me no longer, I went back to the train station and found a bus that could take me to my final destination. To my second home. To Shaolin Sì.