Several times, Italian people I met talked to me and asked me about my religion, for this reason, I got the idea to write about it. I find it very positive that they (Christians) have shown their interests towards a non-Christian and are curious to learn my point of view. Once in a waiting room, a priest introduced himself to me and asked if I would like to exchange some ideas about my religion...and I did say yes, why not?
The first question they all asked me is: "How do you Buddhists most look so peaceful and composed while we (Christians) tend to be nervous and rather frightened? I gave them my own perspective; that I live the religion as a philosophy of life. "There's no need for temples...our own brain and our own heart is our temple...", cited by His Holiness Dalai Lama, is my way of living. I had been taught to see things beyound its appearance and to keep in mind the "middle path" as the best way of living. Certainly it's not that easy to practice in real life but I really feel grateful for my family to have been cultivating these teachings into me.
I'm also convinced that our mental force is very important. A strong mind makes a strong person. Meditation is a very good practice for our mind. Nowadays, many people world-wide are interested in this Buddhist art. (for me it's an art!) My husband too has been eager to learn this art in these few years. He has read many books and tried it somehow in his way. I realised only when I became adult that the meditation lessons in primary and secondary schools were very helpful. Stillness, concentration and patience are very important virtues. These are the discipline which I'm trying to teach my son, hoping that he might have absorbed a little bit of my character.
Another question people often asked me is: "Do you ever consider converting to Christianity so that you, your husband and your son belong to the same belief?" I don't think I need to simply because we're a very united family. Different relegions doesn't impede us to live a happy life. On the contrary, I consider it a fortune because my son will learn that people from different nations, different beliefs, different cultures...can live together without problems. We only need to respect each other. I accompany my family to the Christian church and my family goes to the Buddhist temple with me when we visit Thailand. In the conclusion, I find such a balance in family life this way.
|My son in front of the Pagoda of Wat Arun temple, Bangkok|