I’m always delighted when I see examples of genuine contact and interaction between traditions with which I am familiar. All traditions are not the same of course, that would be like saying that all languages are the same, but sometimes they do come beautifully together, as seen in this event described by Kyōshin at Echoes of the Name:
The end of my formal retreat coincided with a visit by two Korean monks, of the Seon Jogye order, who had come to present our temple with some relics of Sakyamuni Buddha. How this amazing event came about is a rather complicated story which I am not entirely familiar with. However the essential point is that despite all the historical problems between Korea and Japan – involving war, occupation and cultural destruction – individual people in the Korean and Japanese Buddhist communities have worked hard over decades to create friendship, understanding and reconciliation between their countries, cultures, and faiths. The presentation of the relics is just a small chapter in that story, albeit one of huge symbolic significance.
Please do visit Kyōshin’s wonderful group blog, a thoughtful and pretty comprehensive site in the Japanese Jōdo Shinshū tradition, to read the rest of his account of the ceremony. The full blog post is here.
NB: the image for this post was shamelessly stolen from the Japan galleries on Joseph’s amazing photo site here. Thank you Joseph!