Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple

My mother is a real trouper.  I know she probably doesn't understand my embracement of Buddhism, but she accepts it as part of my being me.  And so she was more than willing to tromp through Singapore's Chinatown to visit the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple.

This temple is known also as the Temple of the 10,000 Buddhas.  Here's why.

Some of the collection.

An amazing thing happened when I stepped over the entrance.  I was not quite sure where to go, and suddenly by my elbow appeared a kind elderly gentleman.  He spoke little English, but smiled and motioned us to the elevator.

He took us up to the top of the temple, to the beautiful rooftop garden which houses one of the largest prayer wheels in the world.

We then proceeded down through the other floors, seeing the vast collection of Buddha statues.

On the fourth floor, this dear man led me to the Buddha Tooth relic itself.  (No cameras were permitted).  While Mama waited with our packages, I took off my shoes, and was led to to a monk seated in the corner.  The monk took the mala (prayer beads like a rosary)  I was wearing and, as I knelt  on a small pillow, he placed a stupa on my head and chanted a blessing.  It was the most amazingly calming experience, and filled me with a quietness and peace I can not describe.

We returned to Mama and toured the tour museum.  Along the way, our guide pointed out the most important of the Buddha images.

On the main floor, we walked past a meditation session in progress.

Then our kind guide showed us our zodiac Buddha images.

I loved being reminded that the Buddha image associated with my birth year is the Bodhisattva of Compassion.

Our guide---what a lovely gentleman!!!!

We said our goodbyes to our new friend, and before I could blink twice, he disappeared into the crowd.

To this day, as I think on that little man, I am filled with peace.

Just a few more images from the afternoon--the wonderful ornamentation of the temple door.

And the fun shopping area just outside the temple.

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