On a balmy Melbourne night this week I sat with a tinge of horrified anxiety watching Facebook friend requests from around the world spill into my laptop.

Its like you’ve arrived for the big event and I am still in my pyjamas.

I just don’t understand how the Buddhas in my Pocket pilgrimage started without me!

A few days beforehand a friend had helped set up the Buddhas in my pocket blog, fundraising and Facebook pages for me.

I imagined I had to push a big red button or something on the 17th March – the official launch date.

On March 17th, the plan still , is to go to the Melbourne Buddhist Centre and ritually have my kesa placed around my neck where it will stay for 14 months……that’s also the date to place in my pocket some of the 39 little buddhas already donated to give away as needed.

But no… this is not my pilgrimage , this is not my journey alone.

I can make plans and itineraries, imagine how it will look..but then I have to give it all up, put it all down. It will unfold in its own unique way.

Certainly there is no Ryokan quietude outlining this path.

Already this pilgrimage demands that I be proficient in the 3rd stage of metta bhavana.

( if you don’t know what this is then consider going to your nearest Triratna Buddhist Centre to learn a meditation practice that will change your life )

Unconditional love and acceptance of all sentient beings…whether I know them or not….whether I know how they know me or even why they want to go on pilgrimage with me…this is the task.

This profound teaching of interconnectedness and insubstantiality is not a web to be tangled up in but a stunning jewelled net where beauty is reflected and reflected again.

I was drawn to the richness and truth of Indra’s Net in my early days as a Buddhist.

In this virtual space it will be a treasure… to remind me to hold a wider gaze than the screen of my laptop at all times!

Maitripala x

To finish : a timely endorsement from the President