Monday, February 2, 2015

Going Through the Motions (Taiwan 1)

While in Taiwan we had the opportunity to stay overnight at a monastery. It was one of the highlights of my trip. It felt like going on a retreat of meditation and relaxation and was really a great way to immerse myself in the culture of Buddhism. While staying at the monastery we participated in a morning worship service with the monks. It felt very odd to me at first to be bowing down to Buddha but I soon got over it as I was doing everything that was required to participate in the service. The standing when we needed to stand. Bowing when we needed to bow. Kneeling when it was time. But I had a major problem. I didn't really know what was being said. The prayer book they gave me was all in Chinese. I couldn't read it! I was going through all of the motions of worship but wasn't actually worshiping. I changed my focus of meditation instead on praying to my Heavenly Father for His help and guidance in my life.

As I was reflecting later on this experience I thought about how sometimes we go through the motions of our religion without really feeling the power behind it. How many times have you taken the sacrament and not really thought about what it is you are partaking of? How many prayers have been said that were just repetitive of the words we always say? Sometimes it's hard to know why we are doing some of the things we do at church but we do them because we are expected to. I think it's important to not only do the things we should be doing but also learning to really embrace and internalize them. If you find yourself doing something and you don't understand why, research it. Pray to know why you are doing it. Study it out so that instead of just going through the motions you are actually internalizing it and connecting to it at a much deeper level.

Cute little Buddha

Raise your hands like Buddha!

Daina, Kimber and I with the man who founded the monastery.

Make a wish and then ring the bell It's sure to come true.

Big Buddha

Buddha Land

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