Reflection on Outstanding Buddhist Women Forum (3)

7 March

We started the day with yoga and prostration meditations. How remarkable to have a body to be mindful, to pay homage to Buddha! We gathered again at Dewa after breakfast. The mottanaine (Japanese for gratitude) song filled the air.

It was the session by Ruri Sato on motherly love and the life that is touched by the light of Buddha. A small body with heart beyond description, Ruri read her poetry taking us to the pure realm of goodness. She said when I felt discrimination among mankind in my heart, I prayed to Buddha Amitabha asking him for blessing for my heart to be opened and filled with compassion for all sentient beings. After her session, we all sang mottanaine with gratitude overflowing in our hearts.

Following Ruri was a session by Dr. Tashi Chodren, a Tibetan nun from Malaysia, who is committed to save the environment, to protect nature who is no separable from Mother Tara. She asked us to ponder: what will happen if you come back to Khadiravana 5 years later and find out that half of the mountains are gone, tractors are everywhere, anywhere you see is pollution. You want to escape but you can’t find an asylum because everywhere in the world is the same. She asked us to reflect on the source of water that we consume. She reminded us the high percentage of those in the world who do not have fresh water to use. As a Buddhist, we need to stress the principle of dependent origination, we have a full responsibility to protect the environment.

Ven. Tashi la’s message reminded me of the discussion I had with Bo earlier on our great Stupa. Why do we have to build the Stupa in the forest amidst the mountains? The answer is simple and clear: the Stupa is green, not because we pray especially to Green Tara to help us build the Stupa, but because the Stupa’s blessings are enormous to help prevent natural disasters and those done by the selfishness and ignorance of human beings.

A propagator of Buddhist economics, Dr. Supaporn enlightened us on the causes of global financial crisis, factors we need to keep an eye on before the crisis. She talked about boom and bust, and the happenings in the US and Japan. The Buddhist approach to economy will help us survive in this financial crisis.

Before lunch break, Bhikkhuni Dr. Lee presented our staff tokens of appreciation from the outstanding awards committee.

Thanks again to mom, P’Amporn, P’Muai, P’Muaikia and her family, Nong, On, Tan & Lala, Nok, Yos, Wantanee and Pun as well as Ton and Khadiravana workers who selflessly served us with their generosity and hospitality.

Pandara presented Bhikkhuni Dr. Lee and Bhikkhuni Ratanavali Tara images and all the participants a CD of our story and Vance Lee Teng’s photo diary.

The dialogue on women’s practitioners continued before we took a mindful and peaceful walk to Khadiravana’s sacred banyan tree at the back of the land. The sun is about to set with red clouds in the sky’s horizon.

A day is ending with hopes renewed in my spirit when I see dharma sisters in various kinds of robes and outfits, from various countries walk with me towards our beloved mountains.


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