I met him in a beautiful garden in Adelaide. He was flustered and distracted.

Sometimes you don’t need to be told a whole life story to sense into a large part of it.

I sensed a strength built on a struggle and a battle being won.

It was a quiet, wise quality borne from lessons learned in hardship.

I used to see it in my brother as he described the beauty and love he found bound up in the constant effort needed not to slip into oblivion.

It’s a fragile, softening space in which to connect with someone.

So I sat with this man on the soft green grass and as he already knew something of the Buddha’s teachings I invited him to choose a Buddha from my little bag.

He told me later his eyes weren’t initially drawn to look at the Buddhas as he was transfixed by the sound of silent laughter as soon as I laid them out.

And then the sound of a bell drew him to the tiny vajra bell almost hidden amongst the Buddhas.

I encouraged him to pick up it up.

As he held the tiny vajra bell in his palm we talked about the connection with Buddha Vajrasattva and the association with purification. The handle of the bell is usually made up from part of a vajra- the diamond thunderbolt.

He said he felt he was going through a transformative time and the energy required for that was like the heat and pressure needed to form a diamond.

He told me one of his strengths was knowing that the journey was the destination.

Quietly, thoughtfully he found helpful meaning in this tiny vajra bell.

We sat in silence together until he told me the bell sound had now been drowned out by a lion’s roar.

The lion’s roar brought him completely into the present moment he said.

‘I’m fully here now,’ he said with a broad grin.

So we sat on, ‘fully here’ together.

Vajra bell donated by Megha NSW Australia