|The Hindu Mandir in NW Toronto~ 24,000 carved stones fitted together; finished in 2 years' time.|
|The entrance to what we could call the "parish hall"|
Upon entering the "parish hall," women go to the left and men to the right. You put your shoes in a cubby and walk around in socks...
Inside the temple the construction was very reminiscent of a mosque we had visited in Cordoba, Spain. This mosque had been built in the Middle Ages and then was re-appropriated as a Christian church at a later time. But the structure and decorations remained very much the same within the mosque. It was amazing to see how both a Hindu and Muslim place of worship echoed the other's form. A huge difference between the two was the Hindu use of images for the divine (humans and animals) vs the Muslim proscription of any images (and hence the proliferation of decorative elements such as calligraphy--the elevation of the Word as the beauty of Art).
Inside we were told there was to be silence, as this was a place of meditation. And there the boundaries and differences dissolved. Quiet is quiet, stillness is stillness, and the One speaks within it all. If only we can gather ourselves up to receive.
There is strength in difference, unity in otherness. It waits for us. Quietly.