Instead of heading to the city this week to hand out a Buddha, I found myself in my father’s room at his care home offering him yet another Amogasiddhi, the Buddha of fearlessness.

He had recently given the first one away to a carer at the home. She had shown an interest in it and revealed she was a Buddhist. With his natural generous spirit he convinced her he really wanted her to have it. I love this quality in my Dad. He is so happy giving to others no matter what his circumstances.

Due to someone else’s generosity I have a number of these particular Buddhas so I asked him if he would like another one on his bedside table. He was very happy to accept a new one. I made sure he knew that it was fine to follow his intuition if he found someone needing it more than himself. I wonder how long this one will last in his room ;- )

We spoke a little bit about fearlessness and I asked him what thought he needed that quality for in his life at the moment. For him his upcoming cataract operation immediately came to mind. He will have it without general anaesthetic to minimise the risk given the current state of his health. We are hoping for the retrieval of a little of his sight, maybe even enough to be able to read again.

Sight or no sight, Dad’s favourite activity is spending time with my Mum. It’s been very difficult for them to be living apart to provide the support needed in relation to their health issues.

He asked me to arrange a visit last week, on their 62 nd wedding anniversary, back to Emerald Lake where they spent their honeymoon as 20 year olds. I went along for the trip as carer, daughter, friend.

62 years ago they carried their cases over a mile from the bus stop to the cottage and sat holding hands by the lake just as they did last weekend.

They would go on to have five children, one of whom would live in Emerald for 30 years and help run a Buddhist Centre within walking distance from the lake.

As we arrived on a misty hills day at the beautiful Bed and Breakfast, I was greeted by the owner, a Minister of a local church.  His curiousity about my kesa initiated a friendly connection.

We were very well looked after during our visit and as we left, the minister’s wife began to chat about mindfulness as she was doing uni studies that included mindfulness as support for her counselling qualifications.

She commented that I was very ‘shiny ‘ which I will take as a compliment to my mindfulness/metta practice.

Anyway this ‘shiny’ person arrived back home quite exhausted. Looking after my dear elderly parents reminded me of the energy levels needed when I had three young children… it’s lifting a walker into the car boot instead of a pram…….using  a body that’s  30 years older !

Buddha supplied by Verity UK