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Buddhas in my pocket

An Australian Buddhist Pilgrimage

Month

June 2017

Inspiring metta project

Its heart warming to see what others are doing to help those in need.

 

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Meg’s first metta walk

It’s always delightful to receive news of someone having a go at a metta walk and being part of the Indra’s Net of handing on of Buddhas.

Meg’s story:
‘I’ve been out on a Metta Walk with two Buddhas donated for the  ‘Buddhas in my Pocket’ pilgrimage.
She who was Sarah and whose new Buddhist name is Akasalila passed them to me.
I’ve been meaning to take a Metta Walk for a while and finally made time today to do this in the city of Hereford.
I walked up from the River Wye, noticing how many people looked tired, stressed, and worried, eyes downcast. Only one young man accepted eye contact.
The town centre has a wide pedestrianised area called High Town, surrounded by shops, and with a beautiful medieval black and white Old House to one side, and an equally beautiful life size bronze statue of a Hereford bull on a big circular stone plinth next to it. I settled on one of the two benches between the Old House and the Bull.
I appreciated the reminder that a Buddha might not be even be handed over so I just waited and watched people of all ages crossing and sometimes re-crossing the space, carrying on wishing well to all beings (including the dogs and pigeons).
After a short while an old man approached on a mobility scooter and drew up to my left, at the corner of the Old House.

I looked at him and we made eye contact and I smiled at him.
He drove over in a friendly way and our conversation began about the price of things. He’d been to buy batteries and found them pricey.  His unkempt appearance did not hinder us connecting and I enjoyed talking to him.

He asked what bus I was waiting for and I replied that I wasn’t waiting for a bus. He was curious then and wanted to know what I was doing.

I said that a friend had given me small presents to give away, and would he like one? “Is this religious?”  he asked and I answered ” Yes, Buddhist. “

“What’s that?”  he asked. I brought the two Buddhas out and he took both.

He was happy to have a photo taken of them in his palm after I explained that it would help those who donated them see where they ended up.

He dropped the Buddhas into his pocket and we carried on talking. We exchanged names and he asked where I was from. I was born in Maidstone and we had an animated discussion about this. He has lived in Hereford all his life. His phone rang and he had to go to meet someone so we said goodbye and off he went.
I was amazed how simple and lovely it was to be able to give him the Buddhas in my pocket! I feel very grateful for the opportunity to do this.’

Buddhas donated by Michelle, Melbourne and Vajrajyoti and Akasasri NZ

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A Russian connection

Jody from Kempsey writes :

“When Maitripala visited the Kempsey Sangha in May she spoke about her pilgrimage and the tiny Buddhas she was giving out. This inspired me and she generously gave me two tiny Buddhas to pass on.

I was on a work related trip in Sydney and on 23 June I spoke to a man in the Devonshire Street tunnel at Central. He was seated on a crate, cap upturned in hand, seeking support. We chatted only briefly. He told me he was sleeping here and there. He was an older man with a white beard. He was born in Russia and had been in Australia for a number of decades.

I told him about the tiny Buddhas being given out. At first he didn’t know what I meant by Buddha. When he saw the figure in my hand he was delighted!

He accepted the Buddha and said it was “lucky”. I told him it represented his highest potential. He was very happy with that and interested in the idea of finding out more about the Buddha at the library. A warm and friendly connection was made. Perhaps I may see him when I return to Sydney.”

Buddha donated by Vidyatara, Australia

 

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Courage and fearlessness

Sometimes courage might be thought of as things like jumping into water when the weather is cold, or forgoing something we usually love to have in our lives, or exceling at a sport etc etc. But I believe a family member recently showed what I think of as real courage and bravery by speaking out at injustice and abuse especially in relation to children.

When I offered her a Buddha to choose I was not surprised when she chose Amoghasiddhi, the Buddha with the ‘fearlessness’ hand gesture. It’s a hand guesture that encourages us to stand with courage and fearlessness in the face of whatever suffering we meet or when things feels to scary and overwhelming.

I hope this Buddha reminds her that even when the sense of fearlessness at times feels small, the truth is, it is always possible for any person to eventually access vast, unbounded, fearlessness.

 

Buddha donated by Megha Australia

 

 

 

The happy buddha

I sat down near a young, university student at Federation Square right in a place where the warm winter sun enveloped us. There is something delicious about taking time to fully appreciate the sun’s warmth and welcome it as it pushes back the envelope of brisk coldness, a familiar companion at this time of year.

I had been drawn to sit there so I could continue to gaze at the weather magic that had created an unusual beam of light pouring from a glass cased building in the city centre.

We used the sun’s presence to initiate conversation. She was enjoying being outside after spending 3 days cooped up in a hospital. Not ill, but undergoing new medication trials as a way of earning money as a student.

I took out my little parcel of buddhas and asked if she would like one.

The colour of one attracted her and she felt it was a happy buddha.

After telling her the name of the Order member who donated it, we talked of Nagas and Devis. She nodded knowingly as we spoke of the importance of touching the depths.

As I prepared to go, I appreciated  leaving with the gentle warmth of connection with another human being.

 

Buddha donated by Nagadevi, UK

 

 

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