Saturday, 14 November 2015

Checking out the competition

A lot of the people who are staying here, come especially for Taizé, reason why one might forget that there are more religions but the Christian.

Paldenshangpa La Boulaye
One of the things that has been on our list for a very long time was attending a service in the Tibetan Buddhist Temple in la Boulaye.
The temple in itself is a picture; such a colourful building is a rarity in these surroundings. It contrasts rather strongly against the rolling Burgundian hills. It is one of our favourite touristic outings during summer; the gallery overlooking the temple proper can be visited at a small fee, and that is certainly worth the effort.

The percussion section
Every day, at 9h00 and at 18h00, there are prayer services. The morning one is a bit on the early side for us (it takes 5 quarters of an hour to get there), but attending an evening service is doable.
The service started (very un-French!) at 18h00 spot-on. Although the temple was not packed, there were quite a few people present; my guess is that of all present approx. 25 % were tourists.

The altar
The others were either practising Buddhists or people taking part in Buddhist workshops that week. The main part of the service was taken up by a rather monotonous droning of mantras, half way interrupted by a period of silence, and at certain times accompanied by cymbals, a suspended drum, while a man not being part of the percussion section was blowing a shankha or conch.

It certainly was a special experience, and worth watching for those who have only seen or heard something like this in a movie. However, I think that your average Buddhist would say something identical about a Taizé service....

Prayer Book: no subtitles
Click here for the website of La Tuilerie de Chazelle.

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