Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Going to the pagoda

This evening's been a nice surprise to me (and those who know me). I went to a pagoda alone!

Well, the thing is I have never gone to a pagoda alone in the evening since the first day of my life. When still a little kid, I used to follow my parents to some pagodas and temples in our city. I went just because I couldn’t stay home alone. Later when I grew up and was able to look after myself, I stopped those visits. It was not that I didn’t have any belief in Buddha but simply I didn’t have much interest in visiting pagodas.

This evening was quite different though. Having laid the table for dinner, I decided to go out for a while. Immediately the image of me praying in Tay Ho pagoda appeared in my mind, probably as a result of my mother telling me that I would likely be unlucky for the coming days.

I reached the place at around 6 pm. Although it was quite dark, I, as well as some other guests, was allowed to enter the pagoda with a promise to leave soon. Even though I didn’t know how to pray, I prayed for many things. As I was whispering my prayers to the Gods it suddenly dawn on me how relieved I felt, as if I were free from all the stress and burdens in my daily life. How I wished that moment never to end!
After that I stopped to look around. Beautiful indeed! Lying on the bank of West Lake, the pagoda looked like a small oasis of quietness, solemnity and subtlety. The image of willow trees hiding their bodies in the water caught my very eyes. The pervasive fragrance of incense filling the air allured the dry me. This sentiment kept me for a while before I had to leave when it was getting too dark.

But what has it left for me? I came to realize that I have never had the intention to learn about my own family’s religion. Truly, I never did. Interestingly and strangely enough, I only began to notice this after attending a workshop on Chinese religion in a far-away country (!). Now that I know Buddism means much more than the admonitions, phylosophies and rules. I’m also feeling quite embarrassed for knowing more about Confucius than Buddha, just like many other Vietnamese students knowing more about Chinese history and culture than their own. I'll post another entry about this later because there're many things interesting to say.
So...I should stop now. I mean stop writing :D. Sure, I will go to pagodas more often than now.


Brigida Ayson Schmidt said...

I've never been to a pagoda before... You are so lucky Linh to visit one.

Being alone is sometimes more fun than being with somebody. You'll get to do more things you ought to do in your own style and in your own way. Plus, the fun is unlimited.

I also go to some place alone, by myself... Oh, my angels are with me including the good Lord.

Is that you sitting in front of the architecture? So far =) I could hardly recognize!

Linh Bui said...

@Bridge: Can't agree with you more. ^^
btw, that girl is not me.

ailecgee said...

I wish I could go and see a pagoda someday. Nice to know vietnam's beautiful places through you.

Btw,thanks for giving your view, Linh! Hope you're always doing fine.

Linh Bui said...

@ailecgee: Thanks for your wish. There're many beautiful pagodas and temples in Vietnam. The one I wrote about has a very long long history and is believed to be one of the most scared pagodas in Vietnam.

Ailecgee said...

Hi Linh! I have an award for you. You can get it from my link below. I hope you're fine as ever. Take care always!


Florence said...

Nice Pics of you and Pagoda :)

Adrianne said...


Thanks for sharing this post! It's really beneficial, especially for people who had never seen a Pagoda before.

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