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Buddhas in my pocket

An Australian Buddhist Pilgrimage

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Naganaga

A force of positivity

As I watched this person work I was really struck by her purposeful gait and boundless energy. Here was someone, nearly in her 7 th decade of this life, living so fully engaged in whatever she was doing.
She was endlessly positive.
Sometimes people are cheery on a surface level but underneath things can be turbulent.
However, with this inspiring woman, automatically seeing the best in people went down many layers deep.
Spending time around someone like that really brings confidence and trust easily into communication and connection.
When I offered her a Buddha she chose one mainly because of the colour.
It reminded her a little of pale New Zealand greenstone.
She also liked the shape.
She told me as we chatted, that as soon as she picked it up she realised she would hand it on to a friend- it really needed to go to her friend.
Sometimes the Buddhas in my Pocket are like that.
They still have a little more of a journey to go before they arrive fully into a new home .

Buddha donated by Ineke, New South Wales, Australia IMG_0378

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In the hands of the Order- Satyagandhi

Satyaghandi explains……

“When I first walked into the Sydney Buddhist Centre back in 1984 I was particularly drawn towards Vajrasuri. I really responded to her and that’s what made me decide to come back.

My early life as a Buddhist was particularly informed by how Vajrasuri taught the Dharma.

Being an artist and an art therapist she taught it by doing very imaginative and guided imagery work.  Which I loved!

Eventually I became a mitra and asked to train for Ordination.

I had heard about the idea of Kalyana mitras- people making commitments in their friendships  with a focus on supporting each other on their spiritual journey. 

Vajrasuri and I  had a great friendship with each other . We used to hang out and go to the movies and go away together. We enjoyed each other’s company.

I have always felt so grateful to her, as I believe if I had not met her that day that the Centre, I probably wouldn’t have gone back. 

As I did not have a second person to ask we couldn’t yet have an official KM ceremony.

So we decided to conduct our own friendship commitment ceremony in front of Vajrasuri’s shrine.

During that ritual we exchanged gifts. And this is what Vajrasuri gave me- a beautiful crystal.

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Thirteen years later I actually did get to have the formal KM ceremony with Vajrasuri and Megha.”

In the hands of the Order at Naganaga- Megha

This rock is from New Zealand and was given to me by a dear friend, Varadevi.

It’s from one of her local beaches, a bay on the east coast around Wellington.

This sort of rock, where a shell is fossilised within the rock, brings about a moment of wonder when I look at it.  I like the link with my friend and also my birth place was near Wellington.

It’s particularly the spiral embedded in the rock I am attracted to as well. It reminds me of the Spiral Path teaching. It’s like the Dharma imprinted through ancient times in the rock.

The timelessness of the Law of the Dharma.

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In the hands of the Order …Viryadana

Viryadana……..”This is an embroidered picture of the Buddha. It was made for me as a gift by my longest standing special friend in Australia, Patsy.  She is a very dear friend. I have now been living in Australia for more than 40 years but we knew each other back in NZ when we were very young.  She moved over here and when I arrived a few years later in I lived in her house for 3 years as I settled into this country.

Patsy made this special gift for me over 10 years ago. It was a surprise and I was deeply touched. Each stitch feels like it has friendship in it. It’s unique. “

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In the hands of the Order-…Vajrasuri

I am just back from a wonderful time leading a Mindfully Alive retreat at the Australian women’s vihara, Naganaga, just out of Kemspey ,NSW.

It is enlivening doing retreats in the Aussie bush along with wallabies, carpet pythons and a myriad of stunning birds.

Over the next few posts I’d like to introduce you to the four women who live at the vihara.

Firstly, Vajrasuri……

“This peacock plus two elephants was given to me by the Order when I was leaving India.

I had worked there for 16 years helping with the women’s Ordination process. It was a very sad time for me to make the decision for my own health to finish my work in India. Leaving behind many friends and the  women I had privately Ordained was very sad. However, I was given this  beautiful peacock and the elephants to put on my shrine in Australia so that I would always be reminded of India and my friends there. I have seen wild peacocks at the Hsuan Tsang retreat centre at Bordharan, near Nagpur. I love the colour and the ‘over the top’ aspect of this gift. 

And I can say in some way that it represents what my time in India meant for me. 

It was more than I could have ever believed my experience of life could be. 

My experiences in India were so very positive. Living in India is not always easy but I had so many good friends and that made everything possible .”

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Dhivan Thomas Jones

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awakening and mindfulness

Uncontrived Mindfulness

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Buddhas in my pocket

An Australian Buddhist Pilgrimage