IT WAS A WEIGHTY MATTER when the four-ton Buddha was unveiled at the Nghiem Monastery courtyard in Aldergrove.
Carved in Thailand from BC jade, the statue took five years to complete and was consecrated by the Dalai Lama in 2009.
Its illuminating presence and friendly face captures the imagination and is intended to inspire universal compassion as it travels the globe.
Although hundreds of thousands of people have viewed the icon, many more were expected.
Few people could resist taking photographs of the imposing figure that gets star treatment wherever it goes.
Tea candles were lit to provide opportunities for individuals to participate.
People were able to light sticks at the foot of the statue ...
and place them in a bowl with their hopes and prayers.
I learned that the Buddha's design and kindly demeanor is based on the Buddha inside the Mahabodhi Stupa in Bodh Gaya in India.
Inside the Monastery I saw a large bell and monks quietly eating a meal.
There was also a colourful drum nearby that was silent and still.
Further within the Monastery there was a sacred place that was open to all who were shoeless.
A dignified Buddha was displayed there with a distinctly more serious air.
In a small corner of the courtyard a pretty statue was easily overlooked. If it were human, it might have been green with envy at the attention the visiting Buddha was getting.
Soon the waiting crane in the background would take the large statue away.
The jade Buddha will next appear in Seattle and likely continue to travel for several more years before settling in the Great Stups of Universal Compassion, near Bendigo, Australia.
What an honor that this symbol of peace was created from gemstone discovered in the mountainous regions of British Columbia.
Explorers can discover more sites from around the globe at My World.