I was ordained into the Triratna Buddhist Order 17 years ago. We are a community of just over 2000 Order members spread throughout the world. When one of those Order Members from the UK contacted me saying he was in Melbourne and would love to meet up in Federation Square during one of my pilgrimage walks I agreed very happily. He decided to wear his kesa in an offer of solidarity and also so I would be able to easily pick him out in the crowds that gather there.
Technically we would be considered strangers however we spent a number of hours sitting by the Yarra river enjoying discussions around a wide range of topics. We had both practiced our early Order lives within the context of bringing up families and working in the world. It is marvellous really to be able to connect with someone about whom you know no facts but because of shared commitment, in this case to our Buddhist practice and values, meaningful connection comes easily. We have in common the taking of vows to keep on developing kindness, generosity, truthful, helpful and harmonious speech, tranquility, compassion and wisdom.
As we finished our coffee I opened my bag of Buddhas and he chose one to take and hand out when the time felt right. Magically the one he chose had been donated by someone very dear to his Preceptor, the person who witnessed his vows.
So thank you Mahasiddhi for coming to meet me in that space. (and sending for the photos to share). I look forward to hearing where your little buddha makes its new home.