Toma 8: Bong-eunsa & cross-religion thoughts

by darribas

Today I´ve paid a visit to Bong-eunsa Buddhist Temple, right downtown Seoul. Since it´s my first time in Asia and Europe is not precisely the “heart” of Buddhism, it´s also been my first time in a Buddhist space. About the area (it isn´t only one building but several spread over a fenced area) itsef, again it´s amazing how these guys can create such a peaceful and relaxing place right in the middle of SeoUrban Chaos: since the moment you step into, it seems that you leave all the car horns, bus noises and stress behind your back and enter a sort of silent bubble. It´s also interesting to see how clean everything is and how much they care about the lights, having all perfectly iluminated and appealing to the visitant. Lastly, the roofs as well as the yards covered by pieces of paper with wishes written on them are also a feature quite beautiful to me.

It might seem that it feels right the opposite to visiting a Catholic church or a Muslim mosque. However, what it actually came to my mind while walking through the Temple was that, once you take the superficial aesthetics away, the differences are not that great: after all, it isn´t anything but a building with the statue of “someone” inside where people can go to pray and to praise what he/she actually believes in. No more, no less. All over the history, one and another side´s establishments have tried to convince people about two issues: first, every religion is totally different to any other one existing; second, mine is the true and the best one. And the more I travel and the more I visit places like today´s, the more I get convinced about the opposite: in the end there aren´t anything but persons behind ideas and beliefs, and persons belong only to one kind: human. One can believe in God, Buddha, Ala, in herself or whatever one wants and, as far as I´m concerned, all of them are right as long as make people´s life a little bit better. But I think there´s something we should never forget: in the end, we are all persons, just persons “who fight, hurt, make up and shit, sweat and love (and miss eachother like hell…)”