Learning From South Phoenix

Inner Peace in the Big City

My freeze frame occurred at Baseline Road and 7th Avenue. It was at a place called “Chu`a Thon~Yen” or “Calm-Village Buddhist Temple” Astonished at where I was, I was also taken by the fact that even in a part of town that most people wouldn’t even dream of being, lies a calming temple, a place of worship and peace. With a different cultural background on each corner of this intersection, I laugh to myself, what a diverse kind we have become in that we have found a way to exist and enjoy life with such diversity surrounding us. I was astounded when I realized that despite what surrounded me, I still felt the serenity and peace this temple was illustrating.

The one thing that I really took interest in while visiting the temple was this remarkable bell called “The Great Awakening Bell.” When I took a closer look at the bell I was able to read an inscription on it. It said:

   “For the Liberation and peace of all sentient beings when listening to the bell, you are to recite the following verse: I began to recite the verse “Hearing the bell, I am able to let go of all my afflictions, my heart is calm, my sorrows ended, I am no longer bound to anything.

In that moment I felt this huge calming over me. For that moment I forgot about everything bad going on all around this temple, everything bad going wrong in my life. I was reminded of all the reasons why taking in all the bad makes all the good worth it.  I continued to read the rest of the statement: 

“I will learn to listen to my suffering and the suffering of the other person. When understanding is born in me, compassion is also born.---Avalokites Varaya- Bodhistiva.

That last line, “ When understanding is born in me, compassion is also born.” is such a powerful statement, I realized that in taking in as many different experiences as I can, will only help me be a more diverse, compassionate and understanding person.  I think we can all benefit from that little   reminder.




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Contact: Jill Houda (jilebel@cox.net)