Under the Turkish Sky is a discussion about the dazzling shades of blue that permeate Istanbul life. One of our trip members, John, was so determined to make the most out of being in an Islamic culture that he also participated in Ramadan. Our exchange with Turkish Muslim families prompted reflections about the Islamic faith, from a Buddhist perspective. All of us admired Rumi’s beautiful poetry and profound teaching, whilst some of us were more inclined to philosophical questions about Buddhism in the light of Islamic doctrines or how we can plant seeds of understanding in this horrifically fractured world, where great violence and tremendous suffering is inflicted on a daily basis because people just won’t sit down in one room and talk to one another.
Finally, to round everything up, Buddhistdoor International is hosting, in collaboration with the CBSAA, an interfaith dialogue at the Jockey Club Tower in The University of Hong Kong this November. We will have distinguished guests like Professor Lee (who, many may not know, is an aficionado of Turkey and has written books about the Turkic culture) and Ven. Dhammapala talking about their experiences of Turkish and Muslim culture, as well as representatives from the Anatolia Cultural and Dialogue Centre coming to join in the sharing. Registration is absolutely free too. If you are in Hong Kong, don’t miss out on this rare chance for a Buddhist-Muslim exchange in Asia’s world city. I promise this will be a special encounter indeed.