Sunday, March 25, 2007

The Buddha

Arriving in Hong Kong with a day before the schedule for my first meeting, I ‘ve got an opportunity to spend some time seeing things that I have not been able to visit on my earlier trips.

The Tian Tan Buddha and the Po Lin Monastery sit atop a hill on Lantau Island north of Hong Kong. I got to the site by taking a cable car that is similar to the ones that are commonly used in the European ski resorts. The ride took me very high about the islands and the northern territories and the trip up was beautiful. They also have a hiking path to the site, which is a 4 hour walk (I hope to do the hike on a future visit).

The Buddha itself is massive. The statue rises 34 meters above the top of the mountain and is reached by climbing 270 stairs. They had a presentation that outlined how Sidhartha became the Buddha and what in his life had led to his journey of enlightenment. I was especially moved by the simplicity and honesty of the story. The setting of this monastery is perfect for the reflection and self-awareness that Buddhism promotes. The woods that surround the peak are filled with Lilacs and the aroma on the paths that wound through the woods was intoxicating.

The temples that are interspersed amongst the trees are filled with the scent of incense as the believers send their prayers to the sky on through the burning of long sticks. I was completely at ease and completely mesmerized by the entire site. I am still searching for the religion that has the most meaning for me, that speaks most directly to my heart and mind. If the Buddhists are not there, then they are as close as I can find in any modern religion. This is a philosophy that works in this life and the next and that tells us how to live and treat each other without the mixed messages that seem to cause so much hatred and grief.

God Bless the Buddhists!

Best! Norm.


At 4:48 AM, Anonymous nesrina said...

So glad you could write and speak about places I personally have never been to but have always been curious to know about.
Thanks for the photos as well, they are soooooooo wonderful.


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