Blessed By a Monk

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I saw Big Buddha from a distance and knew I had to see it up close.

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I’ll be honest: I know very little about Buddhism, but was fascinated by the humble accessibility of this temple and the ways in which people were encouraged to interact.

You could buy a bell, inscribe something on it, and hang it with the others circling Big Buddha. It reminded me of the love locks in Paris.

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You could also give a donation and write your name on a tile that would be added to the structure. Or, you could kick off your shoes, crawl on your knees and be blessed by a monk. I chose to do that.

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I don’t know what he said, but just like my visit to a Polish catholic church service in Cleveland, Ohio, it didn’t seem to matter. In fact, it seemed all that more reverent somehow to rely on the actions and experience since I didn’t understand the words. The monk tied a string around my wrist, said some words, lightly tapped my head with a wetted branch, and then cut the tie on my wrist. I kneeled in front of him, admiring the weathered smile lines around his eyes and sensing such gentleness that I couldn’t help but feel blessed to be before him.

I love magical moments like that. The peacefulness of it carried me through days.

Have you experienced moments like this?

16 responses to “Blessed By a Monk

  1. Beautiful 🙂 I have had a few experiences, especially in Hawaii; the Japanese Temple was such a moving experience and it made me go within myself because you needed to be quiet and then just walking in the gardens and the oceans in Hawaii just cleanse my whole being; seeing a sea turtle for the first time was amazeballs. Happy Weekend – Enjoy!

  2. Don’t you wonder about the smile on Big Buddha? It’s like the Mona Lisa. I particularly like the concept of Zen and have always felt that meditation is a powerful tool. –Curt

  3. That sounds like quite a special experience. I’d been to a blessing ceremony in Croatia but it didn’t feel as magical as you described. My friend told me that it was because I didn’t have faith !

    • I’m sorry to hear that. I have been other places, too, that didn’t fill me with peace like this did. I think it was the expression on the monk’s face and in his eyes. I don’t feel that way in church at home. I think this experience was supposed to be peaceful and light. It was nice.

  4. I am so jealous. Great post! When I went to the Buddhist temple in China, it gave me the same magical sense. Buddhism is something that just makes peace and serenity make sense! If only that feeling could last longer!

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