As my thoughts are quite active lately, I’ve been craving serenity. Last week, I adventured around the beautiful landscapes of O’ahu for that much needed R&R. As a Southern California gal, I am used to sunny skies and endless ocean views, so during this trip I have found an extra special place in my heart for the sites my eyes have never seen. The Byodo-In Temple brought on an energy like never before around me, in which I was able to realign with my surroundings and find peace within myself.
The Byodo-In Temple is located in the Ko’olau Mountains in Kaneohe, which is about a 27 min drive from Waikiki Beach where I stayed during my trip. The temple is surrounded by lush landscaping to the skies and miles around, a koi fish pond located directly in front, and wild life such as peacocks and cats roaming the grounds. As for a little history… The Byodo-In Temples was established in June 1968, to honor the 100 year anniversary of the first Japanese immigrants to settle in Hawaii. The Byodo-In Temple in O’ahu is a smaller-scale replica of the 950-year-old Byodo-In Temple in Japan, which I would love to see one day. It was eye-opening to see such a beautiful designed temple as I find architecture fascinating.
I was amazed at my minds ability to escape itself, to only soak in the serenity and culture around it. The Byodo-In Temple is a Buddhist landmark that welcomes people no matter their beliefs, to admire the beauty of its surroundings as well as a place for meditation, which is what I believe I was missing. Just simply walking around the grounds, taking in the beauty of the land along with the fresh cool air, I let go of the inner turmoil that I was holding on to prior. It felt like magic.
It was truly an inspiring awakening. I could go on and on about my experience, but I believe the photos take the words right out of my mouth.
Before entering the temple to stand in front of Buddha, you are required to remove your shoes. Buddha is surrounded by beautiful followers along with a place for your offering if you wished to contribute.
The Byodo-In Temple is located in the back of the Valley of the Temples. Even thought a memorial ground, it is breathtaking. As you drive to the Byodo-In Temple, you will see shrines and sanctuaries located on both sides of the road. It is a one-of-a-kind place and a must-see if you plan to visit the island of Oahu.
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