After listening to the Buddhist priest explain about the different aspects of Buddhism I was surprised by the similarities and differences with Christianity. Buddhism focuses on achieving peace with your inner self through self-reflection, ending not only your suffering, but the suffering of those around you. Christianity （especially Catholicism） on the other hand, focuses on following specific rules,that if followed will allow mankind to live together in relative harmony. No inner reflection is necessary. Simply put, Buddhism seems to trust that when people are given the time to think and reflect that they will do the right thing. In contrast, Christianity puts its trust in its commandments and rules instead of its people. However, the concept of heaven and hell is a constant throughout both religions, as is asking God for held of times of trouble and sadness. The belief that the spirit lives on forever is another parallel shared in both faiths. I think that this belief reverberated the most pleasantly in my consciousness long after my visit to the temple ended.
While being shown around the temple and its grounds, I noticed how its quietness and serenity might encourage self-reflection with its peacefulness. The many paintings and sculptures displayed so beautifully throughout the rooms and hallways of the temple were very attention-grabbing. The temple was welcoming, peaceful and uplifting, reflecting the values shared by the people of the Buddhist faith.
Name: Philippa Keogh
Job: English teacher
Living place: Tokyo
Living in Japan for: 15 years