In Buddhist temples you can usually find Buddhist bells that are played by striking them with a tree trunk that hangs horizontally from ropes. In New Year’s eve the bells are played 108 times. According to Buddhist tradition humans only have 108 desires and passions, and each bell stroke helps us release the burden of one of those desires. Some Buddhist temples have stairs with 108 steps; those steps represent the 108 human passions that we can’t escape from.
In the TV show lost the button in the Dharma hatch had to be pressed every 108 minutes.