Across Continents

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Bells before breakfast

July 29th, 2011

Strong smell of incense. Flapping of lanyards on the poles outside the temple. Inside, I was the only one not clad in robes. Hoping, as I sought to mirror those around me, not to offend. Temple etiquette, beyond removing ones boots before entering, unfamiliar. And no cameras.

I’d decided to observe early morning prayers. Ceremony of Bells. Sheer curiosity. Been told visitors were welcome to attend, but mistakenly advised to be at the temple for six thirty rather than six sharp. Frustratingly unable to enter, all the doors being closed and secured from the inside. Fortunately my efforts to prise one open must have been heard, for a young shaven headed woman eventually let me in.

She’d led me to an empty row of cushions. Indicated I should kneel, joining the others in silent meditation. Nodding in appreciation I’d done this. Finding the experience as much invigorating as it was reflective. Ready to face the day ahead. After breakfast of course.


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