I am so longing to post wonderful pictures from my latest trip but CAN'T for the moment. Instead a quote:
Reginald Johnston (of Puyi, Last Emperor, English (Scottish) tutor fame) wrote in 1908 in "From Peking to Mandalay":
There was a Chinese scholar who, like scholars of most lands, was blest with few of this world's goods, and, unlike a great many of them, was noted for his zealous devotion to the service of his country's gods.
One night he heard the voice of an invisible being that spoke to him thus: "Your piety has found favour in the sight of heaven, ask now for what you most long to possess, for I am the messenger of the gods, and they have sworn to grant your heart's desire". "I ask", said the poor scholar, "for the coarsest clothes and food, just enough for my daily wants, and I beg that I may have freedom to wander at my will over the mountains and fell and woodland stream, free from all worldly cares, till my life's end. That is all I ask." Hardly had he spoken when the sky seemed to fill with the laughter of myriads of unearthly voices.
"All you ask?! cried the messenger of the gods. "Know you not that what you demand is the highest happiness of the beings that dwell in heaven? Ask for wealth or rank, or what earthly happiness you will, but not for you are the holiest joys of the gods".