Monday, April 19, 2010

Buddhist Temple

One sunny Sunday afternoon, an average American family drove down to the Buddhist Temple in Hacienda Heights California. The father was telling the rest of the family that the last time he had seen the temple it was still under construction, but even in its unfinished state it had been extraordinary to see. As the family pulled up to the parking lot entry, the mother expressed concern that perhaps the general public could only go inside on certain days, or on an appointed tour. But the father point to the clearly written WELCOME sign past the entrance at the gate. He said, since there was a greeting in English, he thought it would be alright. Once the family secured a parking space, the family stood in awe of the intricate detail and beauty of the temple. Once they walked into the looming entrance, they looked at the huge alter immediately inside the door. The entire family felt deeply embarrassed and self-conscious, for they had not thought to bring anything. They all briefly admired the inside of the entrance building, then went along a hallway to the left of the entrance doors. They went out into the sunshine and again, the family lost their breath at the sight of a second temple across the courtyard.
The family had not expected to see so much. So there was not enough time to truly admire the gardens, or to visit the museum, or to spend much time in the gift shop. So, the family left that afternoon, having seen more than they had expected, however not fully satisfied with their rather rushed and choppy self-tour. But they all left with the conviction that it would not be the last time they laid eyes on the Buddhist Temple.
(The writer acknowledges that she is not familiar with the terminology of the Buddhist Temple in Hacienda Heights. She begs the readers to forgive her ignorance, she meant no offence. She just wished to share the beauty and the experience of visiting the temple with others.)

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