Oct 23

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I spent a good chunk of time Saturday walking around the Hsi Lai Buddhist Temple in Hacienda Heights.  It was a beautiful campus (I know that’s not really the right word, but I can’t think of anything else to call it), it was peaceful and calming.  Shortly after I arrived, a service started and it sounded beautiful and I was immediately drawn to it.  As I got closer to the sound I was invited in and took a seat in the back to observe.  A drum sounded to keep the pace of the chant and the occasional bell rang and hung in the room.  A kind woman in robes came over and offered me a book of the chant that was being done and followed the words for me with her finger, while I didn’t join in on the chant I did read the English translation which seemed lovely.

I didn’t understand much of what was going on, but I thought it was beautiful and I had to respect their devotion.  It gave me a deep sense of peace and gratitude and I wondered if that was the feeling people got when they visited my temple grounds.

Politically speaking, there has been a great deal of judgement against Mormons and their religion, with Perry, Huntsman and Romney sparking much “interest” and debate.  There seems to be very little acceptance of the Mormon faith, and for some reason it’s okay to say things about that religion that would not be tolerated if it were directed toward the Jewish faith or the Catholic faith, etc.  That is sad to me.

Devotion, service, love and peace should be ideals we embrace.  When a group–any group–promotes those ideal I don’t see why people would seek to tear them down.

I will likely not convert to Buddhism, but I can say that I respect the people and the religion. I enjoyed my time on their Temple grounds, their service was beautiful and the people were kind.  Perhaps the presidential candidates could take a lesson from that.

Respect and tolerance can make a huge difference in the world.

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