Temple

buddhas

Buddhas outside Buddha Meditation Center, Anchorage Alaska. August, 2015.

“Skin is a covering for our immortality.” ~Terri Guillemets

Might have been best to place a Buddha quote under that photo, but I really enjoyed the idea Terri Guillemets portrayed. Not everything need be so matchy matchy. Right?

Just as I said, we went back for the evening service of chanting and meditation. I had a terrible headache all day, and I didn’t really feel like attending no matter how intriguing the idea. However, I knew it was important to J and no matter our current disposition – we have been through a lot together and always ended up supporting each other, at one time or another. It was hot inside. Buddhist monks can’t pay for a.c. The ceiling fans that looked like giant flowers didn’t spin either.

The Abbott greeted us once again, and showed us how to bow to Buddha three times prayer to chanting. We mimicked. Another non-Thai type entered, and he was also shown. The man appeared to be a European backpacker.

We bowed, we chanted – well.. I made no attempt. I am no good for soft rolling languages. It was difficult to follow. J, kept me on the right page. The chanting was very harmonious. There were intermittent sneezes and coughs, but altogether very peaceful. Chanting was followed by meditation – 40 minutes. A timer was set, and the Abbott meditated while walking behind the shrine. I sat and peeked through my eyelids, as we were instructed to look at Buddha through closed eyes. Proper breathing was also taught prior.

Sitting, sitting, breathing, and breathing. Quiet peeking, sitting and more sitting I thought “I don’t know if I can do this.” Despite my impatience, I did not get up or distract J. He wanted this, he needed this. The European backpacker fell asleep and his feet faced Buddha. Ours, safely tucked under our bodies and pointed away. The timer went off. Coughs, stretching and then a quick message in Thai to our ambassador of sorts (the kung fu looking man from prior post.) He quickly nodded and scooted over and told the visitor that although the Abbott did not say his form of meditation was wrong, it was wrong to point his feet at Buddha but also, his choice as it’s his karma. I really shortened that, the man explaining was very patient and gentle in his words.

I couldn’t leave quick enough. I felt sort of out of place, and I don’t know why. I really enjoy other cultures and customs. The temple is beautiful, the carpet was comfy. I can’t help but feel it had to do with being a woman, and temple/church/church/temple = organized religion which isn’t something I am super comfy with. It was a beautiful learning experience, nonetheless.

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