52 Churches 52 Weeks

Worship Exploration Journey

Week 46 – Jain Center of Greater Phoenix – India

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Candace and I ventured out for a new experience Sunday when we attended the Jain Center in Phoenix near Southern and 23rd Avenue. The Jain Center neighbors a new Hindu Temple so I will have to add that to my list.

This center reminded me so much of the Sikh Temple my mom and I visited in Glendale. Men on the left, women on the right, seated on the floor, amazing silks, colors, jewels, make-up. Love it and I really need a Sari. They are fabulous and so feminine. Candace and I brought scarves to cover our heads but this was not a requirement here.

According to their brochure the Jain religion is predominately found in India and is one of the worlds oldest. Jains believe in conquering their passions, desires and wild animal instincts. I think the early humans must have been very naughty as this concept of self-control is present in many religions. Jain philosophy harmonizes the religious, scientific, spiritual and physical aspects of daily life. Jains believe in Karma and practice compassion, forgiveness, vegetarianism and meditation.

There are three tenents: Non-Violence and minimizing injury toward humans, animals insects and plants. This new-found knowledge has me pondering my use of weed killer and bug spray. And I now feel sorry for all those scorpions we flushed down the toilet. Even the ones we found in the sheets and crawling across the kitchen counter. I am a big believer in the delicate balance of my karmatic universe and now I am concerned. So much to consider!

The second Tenent is Non-One-Sideness meaning that what is true from one point of view can be open to question from another. Perception of reality changes depending on the state, time and place of the viewer. I know this to be true when I factor in my husband Goro.

The third Tenent is Non-Possessiveness or a vow to limit our consumption and accumulations to avoid greed and help the ecology. We must restrain ourselves. Again, the concept of restraint. Interesting because we live in such a consumer driven society. I am guessing that many of us are more aware of our consumption and its cost these days. It is ever-present on my mind!

Sunday was the children’s program with skits, songs and the presenting of religious artifacts. My favorite pictures is the one of all the dads lined up with their cameras. So many cultures adore their children and just enjoy capturing the moment. The adults took their turn in singing and leading prayer but by this time Candace had grown tired and was ready for lunch. Taking Candace with me to places where I obviously “don’t belong” allows me to be viewed, I believe, with less suspicion and at the same time it’s a little hard to focus on the message because she can be such a handful.

We were fine for the most part because this Center was loosely organized and had a free-flowing, noisy, come as you please type of environment. It seems that with many of the eastern religions being on time is not that important. A good day in all. Glad we went.

Here is the Link to the Jain Center: http://www.jcgp.org/


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