Saturday, August 23, 2008

Mountain Top Experience

In life we will always have hills and valleys, mountain top experiences and times spent in what feels like dry and barren places. My orientation in Hong Kong was literally a mountain top experience. Our group stayed at a retreat center called Tao Fang Shan, renowned for its work interfacing with Buddhist Monks. The group of new associates met for six days to review organizational information, get practical tips on how to adjust to Chinese culture and to bond together as a group. We were also joined by the JHF HongKong staff. It was a much needed time of refreshing for me after the hurried pace of the past few months. I really appreciated having time to reflect on deep level issues.

Our Orientation Group
Because I had jet lag for nearly the whole time there, I found myself waking up several times a night and having the opportunity to walk early in the morning just as the sun was peeking over the horizon. My two favorite spots were the Lotus Crypt (a private underground sanctuary for meditation and reading) and the Tao Fong Shan Cross; a huge crucifix on a hill overlooking the city below. It was there that I again felt inspired (despite my weariness) to revisit my calling and recommit myself to do whatever it would take to serve well in China. So many things can distract us, and sometimes it takes being awakened in the night, or the wee hours of the morning to get our focus in the right direction. There's only one thing worthy of our complete attention...the cross.
We also had the chance to visit downtown Hong Kong for a nighttime light show in the harbor, and to take a trip to "The Peak." My words can't really capture it's beauty, but here's what someone else wrote about it:

The Peak Hong Kong

The Peak Hong Kong has been the preferred residence since the British arrived in 1841. From The Peak’s various vantage points spectacular vistas take in most of Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, much of the New Territories, the outlying islands, mainland China, and Macau. A trip to The Peak should be one of the first things visitors do after arriving in Hong Kong, not only for its world-famous views, but to gain a perspective of the city. Pick a cloudless day and make two journeys, one during daylight and another in the evening to catch a memorable image of Hong Kong illuminated.
Most visitors to Victoria Peak arrive by a funicular railway, which climbs out of Central at an impossible angle to reach the upper station at the Peat Tower – a metallic, bowl-shaped landmark. From the terrace on the fifth floor of the tower, the views are quite outstanding, looking down the mountain to the high-rise apartments of the Mid-Levels and the gleaming office towers crowded into Central, and beyondthat across busy Victoria Habor to Tsim Sha Tsui and kowloon, backed by the green jagged mountains of the New Territories. It is amazing!
Hoping that you will experience your own "mountain top experience" and be refreshed for the task that you have been called to.



The Kellys said...

Looks like life is treating you well Linda! Your blog is fun to read! Wish you all the best!

Barbi V said...

I love this picture of you overlooking Hong Kong! You look absolutely beautiful. I just checked your blog and found that you've been posting regularly. I had no idea. I thought I was going to receive em notices whenever you updated, but I guess I thought wrong. I was wondering why I haven't heard anything new from you. Silly me, I just need to manually go to your blog. Want to let you know that many times G has awakened me with thoughts of you. I can't tell you how much you're missed, but it looks like you're being well-taken care of. Love ya - Barbi