Last weekend, a big crew of foreigners decided to explore a little bit the spirituality around the city and went to a Buddhist temple, 2 hours south of Sydney (http://www.nantien.org.au).
The temple is impressive. Apparently, it’s the biggest in the southern hemisphere. Its architecture is beautiful; there are monks, nuns and non-religious people working there; the vegetarian food available is great; you can stay there for some days if you want; there are drums, meditation and chant sessions every day; but definitely what called my attention the most was the philosophy.
Amongst the things I’ve learnt:
Buddhists search for enlightment and don’t need to have responses for all the world’s mysteries. So, for example, they believe life is a circle, but there’s no one right response to reincarnation;
Their symbol is the lotus flower, because it is a beautiful, clean and bright flower which flourishes every year and grows from swamps. This reinforces the circle of life and encourages people to search for enlightment without ignoring the problems, but using them as a source of learning and strength.