Xiānglúfēng Lúshān

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Xianglufeng rises just south of the Xilinsi and Donglinsi, on the northeast corner of Lushan. It is interesting to speculate the reasons temples were located at particular spots. Clearly these two temples were established here because Xianglufeng indeed resembles an incense burner.

In September 2002, I clambered up Xianglufeng, Incense Burner Peak, above Hui Yuan's Donglinsi, in a steady rain and a complete whiteout. No path led the way and it was only by luck of dead reakoning that I stumbled on the peak. I hunkered down on summit and waited for the mist to clear. Three hours later I was rewarded as the peak suddenly shot up in the air! I had the feeling I was on an ascending elevator! Of course the mist had receeded, but the feeling was one of the peak rising vertically in the air. Often in the misty Lushan landscape, floating without a firm foundation, in a misty vertigo, one has the feeling that the peaks are rising, not the mist receeding! A second mist phenomenon that often occurs is that the mist moves sideways and peaks appear as if from behind a sliding curtain pulled horizontally across a stage.

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