Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Day of Serenity

Several years ago … well, maybe I should say a few decades ago … the wife and I took a drive around the windward side of Oahu when we returned from a visit to Oahu’s North Shore.
One of the places we swung by was the Valley of the Temples in Kaneohe. We didn’t stop when we reached the Byodo-In Temple, choosing instead to simply gaze upon its beauty before driving home.
This past Monday, I finally drove over to Kaneohe and paid an extended visit to the Byodo-In Temple, a scaled replica of the actual 900+ year-old temple in Uji, Japan.
What struck me immediately was the utter serenity one experiences there. Except for the occasional deep resonating gong of the three-ton brass bell in the Bell House, all one could hear were birds, the rustle of leaves, the babbling of streams and occasional muted conversation of strolling visitors.
The main hall is known as the Phoenix Hall, with the legendary birds perched at either end of the roof. Removing my shoes before entering the temple, I paid my respects before the 18-foot-tall Buddha statue, thought to be the largest figure carved since ancient times (according to the information leaflet).
I offered incense and said a prayer for my father-in-law and my grandparents, who were Buddhists, and said hello to my father, who was raised in Buddhism before converting to Christianity during World War II.
There is such peace and serenity throughout the entire property, and as I wandered about, lost in my thoughts and reflecting on my life, I whispered in the wind, “If you listen carefully, you can hear peace singing in the quiet dawn. Reach out and draw it into your heart.”
With that, I share these pictures of serenity with you:

1 comment:

casch said...

It really does look serene. Some days it's good to find a spot like this!