Lin Luoran comes very early. It isn’t the peak time of visiting the Jokhang Temple, so there are only some people entering the temple for holding prayer wheels. Lin Luoran buys a ticket and enters it. The ticket seller repeatedly asks if she needs to take photos in the temple. If she needs it, she has to buy a photo ticket. When Lin Luoran sees that the photography ticket is even more expensive than the entrance tickets, she already can imagine the scenery inside the Jokhang Temple.
Ordinary tourists can be forgiven for taking photos in such holy places. However, it will be disrespectful for a cultivator like her who knows that Buddha exists to take photos in the temple.
Having entered the gate, Lin Luoran sees a courtyard that combines architectural styles of Tang, Tibetan, Nepali, and Indian. She doesn’t follow the usual tourist route, but just visits places as she likes. She is in front of a mural now. With a closer look, she finds it is a painting about the early Potala Palace, depicting the process of building the Jokhang Temple by filling the lake.
Lin Luoran enjoys the mural for a while, and then enters the hall.
The first small hall is for worshiping Tsongkhapa and his eight apprentices who are the followers and heirs of the Dge-lugs-pa sect.
Lin Luoran is going to enter, but an invisible light wall stops her. Alas, how can others go in and out, but only she can’t?
Lin Luoran carefully observes those who worship the Buddha, and she finds that two or three of them have a white line on their heads, connecting with the Buddha. The white light spots in the ocean of consciousness occur to her at first. These people have established a connection with the Buddha by the power of faith.
These believers worship them so long, so the power of faith is stronger than that in Lin Luoran’s ocean of consciousness. If you look at the whole hall, you can see that it is shrouded by a burst of white light. Does the power of faith accumulated over the years reside here?
Thinking that she is the model of the flying colorful sculptures in the ocean of consciousness, Lin Luoran understands the secret.
Now she can also be called a “fairy” and has her own Taoist field. This small hall is a Taoist field of someone else. Lin Luoran just wants to pay a visit, but there is no master to receive her. Lin Luoran suddenly doubts that she will never be able to enter temples that worship the saints of Buddhism and Taoism.
Thinking this, she feels somewhat disappointed. Lin Luoran decides to go around the temple casually tosee more colorful paintings, and go back.
But when she turns around, she sees an acquaintance accompanied by several old monks and comes up slowly.
Although it is a sacred plateau, Lin Luoran seems to smell the fragrance of plantain lily.
It is the young Buddhist monk Zhixiu, but why he happens to be here?
The old monk next to him seems to be the monk of the Jokhang Temple, but Master Puji of Xiantong Temple is not among them. Now she is sure that it is Zhixiu … Lin Luoran feels that something is strange as she has better personal ability. The monks cluster aroundZhixiu, and the young Buddhist monk bows his head and talks with them from time to time. They look happy.
It is palpable who is in higher status.
“Hello. Master Zhixiu.”
Lin Luoran greets him. When Zhixiu sees her, he is a little bit confused.
Although in the Jokhang Temple, people come and leave, he should still have felt the cultivator’s breath no matter how advanced Lin Luoran is now. Taoism and Buddhism are very different, so it is easier for him to notice Lin Luoran.
Thinking about this, Zhixiu whispersto the monks and they go away. And then Zhixiu comes to her alone.
“I don’t expect to see you on the plateau.” The sunlight reflects the dazzling light under the golden roof paintings of the Jokhang Temple, and the young Buddhist monk seems to step forward on that light.
Lin Luoran stops the discussion on this topic since he doesn’t say why he is here. She says solemnly, ” I haven’t thanked Master Puji last time. I should have extended my gratitude.”
Zhixiu invites her to go around, and Lin Luoran agrees without hesitation.
“It is me who should thank for providing the opportunity for me go into the secular world again. Would you like a cup of buttered tea?”
She is invited by Zhixiu who is from Wutai Mountain to drink buttered tea at the Jokhang Temple. It is something rare , so Lin Luoran is delighted to join in.
There is a side hall after great turns which is completely free from the hustle and bustle of tourists. It may be Zhixiu’s residence, so he is very familiar with things here. He takes out a tin pot to boil tea. The tea has a musty smell. It’s so weird. Lin Luoran doesn’t know why he seems to be very popular at the Jokhang Temple will be so careless in lifestyle . How can he serve her moldy tea?
Lin Luoran starts to worry because she might need to drink the moldy tea. She proposes to provide some good tea with politeness, but Zhixiu smiles.
“Do you think the tea is moldy for I have been unfairly treated? ”
Lin Luoran shakes her head. She hasn’t been so superficial.
But what he says also implies refusion to her offer, so Lin Luoran gives it up and just watches Zhixiu making tea on a small coal stove quietly. The handsome young Buddhist monk stained with soot, but Zhixiu doesn’t care.
There is no aroma of the plum of blossom, orchid, bamboo, chrysanthemum here. Zhixiu is also involved with secular affairs. When Lin Luoran sees this , her eagerness to advance in cultivation gradually calms down gradually.
After a long time, the moldy tea loses odors, leaving only a strong tea aroma. Lin Luoran is a little surprised. Zhixiu pours the tea into a bamboo tube, adds some butter, and slowly stirs it with the tea. Next, he puts a little salt into the tea.
Zhixiu is skilled, and the wide sleeves of the mafors move slowly with the movement. Every step is full of a sense of perfection. It is obvious that he is skilled in making buttered tea. How long does he do this there? It is quite a while before Zhixiu serves a bowl for Lin Luoran.
A bowl of hot tea drives the coldness away in the morning. Lin Luoran feels her mind peaceful with warm hands and feet . There are even sweats in her palms. This side hall, even including the rusty copper lamps, seems full of stories.
Lin Luoran puts down the wooden bowl and ponder over the aftertaste of that tea. She starts to suspect t that she can’t bear essence for so long is because of her evasion from the secular world.
The aim of her cultivation is to go into the secular world, not to escape from it.
She thinks that as an ordinary traveler, perception lies in not using spell or Wakan. However, if she asks her initial heart, she knows that she is far away from the life of mortals since cultivation.
Lin Luoran thinks it carefully as she doesn’t know how long has it been since she doesn’t rely on the Fire Spell to gather fire, rely on the Water Spell to gather water, and rely on Wind-riding Spell to fly.
“Master Zhixiu, this is really a good bowl of tea!” Lin Luoran figures this out, so she smiles. After saying good-bye to Zhixiu, she walks slowly along the corridor. At this moment time, she is like an ordinary person who feels happy for seeing colorful paintings, instead of seeing it with a condescending examination.
This time, she doesn’t regard herself as a cultivator, nor does she think about the power of faith or the colorful sculptures in the ocean of consciousness. And then she enters the hall which she could not step into previously with no obstruction.
Lin Luoran finishes her visit in high spirits. When she walks out of the gate, it is already in the afternoon.
Her figure is drowned by tourists. On a high building, Zhixiu stands at the railing, in deep thought.
“Holy Monk …”
An old monk comes up, but he has no idea what Zhixiu is looking at.
Zhixiu shakes his head and says, “I haven’t been qualified to be initiated into monkhood, so how can I get that title. Please don’t say that again.”
The old monk is submissive, not knowing how to correspond, so he changes the topic and asks Zhixiu what he is looking at.
Zhixiu smiles but says nothing, which makes the old monk puzzled for a moment. The old monk looks far into the distance. He doesn’t know who catches Zhixiu’s attention among the crowds.
Zhixiu returns to the side hall and picks up the wooden bowl that Lin Luoran has used. The young Buddhist monk is a little puzzled.
“Even a bowl of tea can make her have an epiphany. She is so gifted … But why I feel that there is the power of faith in her when she is absent-minded? However, what I hear is that Taoism is different from Buddhism so they can’t merge and it is useless for cultivators to carry Buddhist cultivation instruments, isn’t it?”
The sky is getting darker, and it is quiet in the side hall. The temperature difference in Tibet at night is large, so Zhixiu stands up and closes the heavy hall door.
A young Buddhist monk in Buddhism can only be regarded as a probationary monk. Zhixiu, who is called “holy monk” by the old monk, is not even a bhiksu. That also means that he has not really followed Buddhism, so he can’t accept that title.