Sunday, February 28, 2010

Buddhist temple

We did a short sightseeing trip with our group today that included a visit to the Six Banyan Buddhist Temple. I was sad to learn that some in our group didn't come because, as evangelical Christians, they saw a visit to a Buddhist temple as contrary to their religious beliefs. While I respect anyone's decision not to participate in another religion's ceremonies (though the Buddhist blessing of Sophie was one of the trip's highlights so far for us),  I can't imagine being so closed to even learning about a religion that is very important to your child's birth culture.
OK. Off my soapbox.
The temple was very beautiful but crowded because today was the 15th day of the lunar month, which is a worship day for Buddhists. (Also, we learned it is Chinese Valentine's Day!) We got some incense to pray to the Buddha, and I prayed for a long, healthy life for Sophie, of course. But I also said some special prayers at the Kwan Yin statue for my friends Karlin and Charles, who are trying to adopt from Nepal. That international adoption program is sounding very similar to Vietnam, and I worry it may close soon.


Anonymous said...

I agree with you Heidi, and don't really think you were on a soapbox. We had a 6 Banyan Temple Buddhist monk bless our second child (though the first was with us too). One of the families was quite religious but they were very open to having their daughter blessed. It was a truly fine moment.

On our first trip to China, we visited a Buddhist "nunnery" (sorry don't know proper term) and all the families regardless of beliefs (Christian, Jewish, Catholic and agnostic)participated in a number of the customs (e.g. lighting incense as well as "praying" for the good health and fortune of our children).

Seems to me that tolerance and open-heartedness (a word?) are religious values to which we all should aspire.

Anonymous said...

Right on Heidi - very well said. I completely agree and am glad you feel that way.