Buddhas in my pocket

An Australian Buddhist Pilgrimage


July 2016

Budai finds a new home

I have been given a number of Laughing Buddhas to give away on my pilgrimage.
I have learned that he represents a Chinese monk from around 1,000 years ago, believed to be an incarnation the future buddha (Maitreya),
Laughing Buddha is known as Budai in China, Hotei in Japan.  The name means “cotton/cloth sack.”
As protector of the poor, weak, and children he traveled with an everlasting sack of food handing out to those in need, or collecting and taking away the suffering of others.
Budai became known as the god of contentment and abundance.


This Buddha was chosen by a young Vietnamese woman I met recently who has been living in Australia for about a year. The bowl held above the head can carry fruit or a pearl of wisdom. We discussed Budai’s connection with abundance.

May her time in this country be supportive and growthful.

Buddha donated by Alison, Melbourne Australia

An update from a story in March…

Update on the story which saw myself and a friend Julie give out two Buddhas to the same young guy in Melbourne in March . We were both unaware that we had chosen to offer the same person a Buddha on separate days.
He was an impressive young man. I usually don’t get to know what happens to the Buddhas once they move on to new pockets.
Recently I commented on a Facebook page called ‘ Humans of Melbourne ‘ which mentioned homeless on the streets in Melbourne. I was really surprised to get the response below from that same young man. I am delighted to hear things are going well for him. May it continue 🙏🏼

He said …
“I’m sure the picture of the hand you posted on “humans in melbourne” is my hand holding the Buddha. I still carry it in my pocket and was so grateful for our chat that day. At the time I was homeless and sleeping on the street, meeting and talking to people such as yourself is what really helped and inspired me to get through that tuff time in my life.
I now sell the Big Issue and am no longer homeless. ‘Humans in Melbourne ‘ have done 2 or 3 stories on my journey.
How is your pilgrimage going?

I will forever cherish the Buddha statue you gave me, i have 2 of them now as a friend of yours gave me one also. The one which represents prosperity is the one I carry around as a good luck charm. Thank you once again”

Today….Sri Lanka

My first activity after breakfast today was to answer a personal computer message I had received from a monk in Sri Lanka who is following the Buddhas in my Pocket journey.  He lives in a temple with three other monks in the capital city, Colombo.  With neither of us fluent in the other’s language it was our understanding of the Dharma that kept the thread of communication going. He teaches meditation, I teach meditation. I am learning a little about the life of a Sri Lankan monk and he knows a little bit more about my Dharma practise with Triratna.

Late this afternoon,  my mother suggested I try handing out some Buddhas at the large shopping centre complex near my father’s care home. I could drop her there for a visit with Dad and then instead of going into Fed Square in the city centre I could try and find someone at the shopping centre that might like a Buddha.

To be honest I wasn’t initially keen about her suggestion. I often have to work hard to peel through the energies found at large shopping complexes, with their constant music and visual messages trying to coax people to part with money.

So yes Mum , a perfect place for a metta walk.  Tuning in firstly to my resistance, turning towards it with metta, letting the ‘me’ bubble defuse and allowing connections with other human beings …actively inviting them in.

Within 10 minutes of walking around the many levels of shops ( GPS needed to find my way out to my car later!) I sat down near two adults and a young primary school aged boy, (perhaps their grandchild).  I started conversation by opening my bag of Buddhas. We were then joined by the middle generation mother and daughter of this family unit.

Together, we tentatively worked out that all of us were  Buddhists. They had all been born in Sri Lanka and the whole family was now living in Australia. After admiring the various Buddhas the grandmother, granddaughter and grandson each chose one they felt connected to.

So thank you to Sri Lanka, beautifully perfuming the start and finish of my day.

Buddhas donated by:

Padmasiddhi-Melbourne, Australia,

Malini- Waiheke Island , New Zealand

Akashamani -Port Fairy ,Australia








Even on retreat, Buddhas find new homes .

From a Mitra training for Ordination in Australia.

This Buddha found its way to me through an act of generosity and intuition. As a practicing Buddhist in an isolated context, I was hugely grateful to be given this little Buddha, who represents the whole of the Triratna sangha to me. When I see this Buddha I feel connected to everyone within Triratna, and all Buddhists around the world who are practicing deeply. I will always remember how this Buddha found its way to me, while I was on retreat, and how through receiving it I felt loved, accepted, acknowledged and seen.”

Buddha donated by Leicestershire Study group UK

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Buddhas in my pocket

An Australian Buddhist Pilgrimage