"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Songs of the Pioneers song from TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon's old-fashioned newspaper column, cross-breeding metaphors and journalism and art, for readers in 150 countries.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

A new year, new experiences, new thoughts, First Amendment

video
We attended the four-hour Chinese New Year celebration and worship and vegetarian meal at the Buddha Mind Monastery in far southeast OKC today.
Inside the foyer
Still processing and decompressing all that my senses encountered. Much to write. Susan and I and friend Christy Vincent attended. Thanks to friend and former student Sheri Guyse for inviting, and to Dave Rhea for joining us too.
As I drove up to this impressive building today, watching all kinds of Americans enter, I thought "First Amendment." Freedom of religion, not state-sponsored religion, but all religions welcome here. I wish our legislators and those who think we're a "Christian" nation could attend.
What Westerners would call the "sanctuary"
Those thoughts were fleeting as we took off our shoes and entered a different world, a world of peace and mesmerizing chants in a different language and an English homily, and strange liturgies with lots of bowing, and offerings of fresh flowers.
I took photos and now regret I didn't record some of the chanting, which transported you to a realm of peace. I wish I could have monitored my blood pressure as I'm sure it dropped.  There were about 100 or so folks there at 10:30, and then after the break and before the free meal, the place packed with more than double that for the liturgy of offering, more chants, and a visit by the Chinese dragon. More photos later.
Susan putting her shoes on after our visit.
There's so much about this I do not understand, humbled by my ignorance of an ancient belief with more than 500 million  followers. I don't even know what to call the woman who gave the homily, but it was compelling with advice on changing the world with our own thoughts and action, and including  the words, "every day is a new year."
Indeed, this is a new year's day.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds great. Many people don't understand that if anybody doesn't have religious freedom then nobody does.

    ReplyDelete