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.
‘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