May 9th 2016
Getting up early never suited me, it never has and it more than likely never will, so you can imagine that having to be up at half six in the morning just to make an eight O’clock appointment where I wasn’t even sure what I was getting myself into, did not sit well with me… not in the least.
Unlike yesterday the weather was not on my side and I was practically waterlogged before I even stepped foot on a bus; cold wet and shivering I eventually got into town and met Mr. Li who, despite the rough weather, looked like he was actually rather content, though perhaps he was just glad to see I actually showed up. I’m not saying that he might have tried to introducce people to this place before, but if that’s the case, I wouldn’t be surprised.
I make it sound like indoctrination.
Eventually we got inside and there was a gentleman sitting on a stool at the head of an audience, though if I was forced to make a generalisation, none of them looked as though they were Buddhists and, in hindsight, I might have been right.
The man was apparently a retired professor, a religious scholar who was there to deliver a talk on “The position and role of women in Buddhism”. I was intrigued to say the least. The whole thing lasted for about two hours and it was a thoroughly eye opening experience, I’ve read the three baskets of the Tripitaka but it’s been such a long time since then, I think I needed a refresher course.
The content of the ‘lecture’ might be a bit too boring for me to talk about here, it didn’t help that he had a horrendously monotone voice either, but it was informative, well thought out and reasoned, so I suppose that I could classify it as a morning well spent. A morning or learning and culture.
Of course this wasn’t the every day function of the (temple?) meditation space, in day to day activity it pretty much does what it says on the tin, it’s a place for people to come, ponder over the days events and meditate. I do believe that I will be going back some time soon, perhaps I’ll be able to chat to someone ‘official’ about what they think of Buddhism and its role in every day life to them.