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Community and Togetherness

18 Jun 2024 2:29 PM | Anonymous

I ventured to a Vietnamese temple, one sunny Sunday morn,

Where community and togetherness felt freshly reborn.

Inside the sacred space, eyes glanced with gentle grace,

In this holy place, I stood, an outsider in the race.

A tiny lady, old and wise, approached with a question kind,

Her query about direction, reflecting the curiosity in my mind.

'I'm here by chance,' I said, 'drawn by Sunday's crowd, so bright,

An artist am I, captivated by this temple's light.

Whether sun or rain, night or day, its beauty I admire from afar,

Today, I thought to step inside, to see things as they are.'

I spoke of Buddhism’s call, a childhood intrigue so deep,

In values that felt like skin, in cells forever to keep.

With a nod and a smile, she eased my wandering soul,

Guiding me gently, making exploration my role.

Shoes off, heart open, up the stairs I went,

To discover golden statues and books, in serene content.

A man spoke of their bible, a treasure in plain sight,

His words a new melody in the morning light.

I sat and meditated, planning to leave before the crowd,

But destiny had other plans, in this temple proud.

The kind lady returned, her presence a guiding star,

Explaining the service, near and far.

As the room filled, she invited me to stay,

For service and lunch, in the most welcoming way.

I was cautious, yet intrigued, by this gesture so sweet,

In a community so warm, where heart and soul meet.

Then the master monk appeared, a figure of peace and love,

Inviting me to lunch, as if sent from above.

An hour and a half of chants, a language I didn't know,

Yet their rhythm and energy, in my heart did glow.

Afterwards, an invitation to New Year’s came my way,

From the grandmother, whose sparkling eyes did sway.

She led me to a table, where friendship did await,

Beside her and her best friend, an 80-year-old mate.

A collective prayer we said, before the meal began,

A simple act of unity, part of a larger plan.

Introductions around the table, stories shared with glee,

About temple visits, life, and how happy we could be.

In this moment, I recalled a conversation from the past,

With Tracy and the Ambassador team, questions vast.

How should a community feel, for those both new and old?

Welcomed, informed, embraced in warmth, never cold.

Togetherness, joy, and conversations bold,

Building relationships, stories untold.

This temple visit taught me, more than words can say,

It’s the people, the kindness, that makes us want to stay.

To gather, to share, to act as one,

In a community of warmth, under the sun.

 We are on treaty territories, the traditional lands of First Nations people and homeland to the Métis.  We are committed to moving forward in a respectful way in the spirit of reconciliation.

Phone: 306-565-3199

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