So, today was my last day in Hong Kong, and let me tell you, I made it count! I got up early and took the metro (which, by the way, is extraordinarily organized, clear & clean!) out to Lantau Island--first stop was the giant Buddha & the monastery. It was absolutely gorgeous, and I have to say, I found this statue very moving. I spent lots of time there (they have a beautiful relic housed inside the structure--a tooth from Sakyamuni--and the bodhisattvas surrounding the Buddha are beautiful, too.) not only at the main statue, but also at the different altars in the monastery.
I found myself thinking that in many ways, Christianity and Buddhism are complementary. They aren't teaching the same thing, nor are they simple opposites, but staring up at the Buddha looking down on me in peaceful, graceful blessing, and juxtaposing that image in my mind with the crucifixion, I was struck by how they are, in some sense, ying and yang (to borrow another religious image from my context). The peace of the Buddha and the passion of Christ? The stillness of the seated Buddha and the dynamic suffering of the crucified Christ? I'm not sure, exactly--I only know that the one helps me appreciate the other. Pictures are below--see for yourself.
My other stop on Lantau Island was Tai O: it's an old traditional fishing village, very quaint, and oh, so much fish! I saw several beautiful temples there, too. I was back to the hotel by around 5:30--now I need to pack up & get ready to fly home tomorrow!