My Journey To The Hsi Lai Temple

903 Words4 Pages
Before arriving to the Hsi Lai Temple, I was somewhat skeptical towards the culture of Buddhism. I was raised and baptized in the Catholic religion until my early adulthood, when I begun to embrace non-denominational Christianity. Although I have partaken in both religions, many of the teachings have similarities. Buddhism seems to be a creed with an entirely different teaching and style of living. I am not very familiar with Buddhism, although I do know a few basic facts in regards to the culture. Prior to arriving, I knew that the Buddhist practices include teachings from the Buddha, who is known as the enlightened one. I also understand that many of the people that practice Buddhism strive to become monks. One thing I learned in class from…show more content…
It was situated just off of a main street that included all different kinds of shopping centers. After finding parking, I headed up three flights of stairs and noticed many different people from several different cultures and walks of life. As I was walking up the stairs to the Gateway, it was a sunny day, about 78 degrees with some clouds. I went straight into the first building, which I thought was the main temple of prayer. As I entered the Gateway, there was not much of a smell, but I did notice a hint of incense aroma. I immediately noticed a lady to the right of me as I entered the building, and asked her where the guided audio tour was and she directed me to the information center. Afterwards, my friend and I obtained one CD Player with a connection for two headphones for each of us. We walked back to the front of the building where we came from initially, to start the tour. Once the tour started, the lady narrating the tour explained everything from the statue, to the incense offering, the food offered to the Buddha, and the people kneeling down towards the statues. She led us back outside, where we saw the bigger building, which was actually the main shrine, or temple of prayer. During the tour, I observed the Arhat and the Avalokitesvara gardens on the left and the right, along with the other facilities located at the Hsi Lai Temple such as the art gallery, the tea room,…show more content…
I learned that the Chinese characters that were on the back of the main gate were the four vows of Buddhists and these vows encourage people to accomplish the vows, which I found very interesting. Initially, I thought that the Buddhist people were idolizing the Buddha, but after the audio tour, I learned that bowing in front of the Buddha symbolizes respect for the journey and teachings of the Buddha. This gesture was something very new to me because in the religions that I was more familiar with, the followers idolize and worship God, rather than his philosophical teachings. Additionally, I did not know that other statues aside from the Buddha were active roles in the Buddhist community. I familiarized myself with each of the five statues in the Bodhisattva Hall and what each of them symbolizes. Although I saw many of the other facilities within the Hsi Lai Temple, I found the Bodhisattva Hall to be the most

More about My Journey To The Hsi Lai Temple

Open Document