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