“Buddhas in my Pocket”: An Australian Buddhist pilgrimagePosted by Charlotte Lawes on Tue, 31 January, 2017 - 16:03
Maitripala is an Order member in Australia. When I met her a couple of years ago, she told me of her plans to embark on a pilgrimage along the east coast of Australia to volunteer for different Triratna Buddhist Groups and Centres. Wearing her kesa every day for a year, she would also hand out small Buddha figures to strangers she met along the way. Here she describes how this incredibly moving adventure has been unfolding.
Maitripala writes: “I have been given 170 little Buddhas to give away for the ‘Buddhas in my Pocket’ pilgrimage. So far 52 have gone to new pockets and I will continue to hand the others on over the next four months whilst visiting and helping at Triratna centres/groups along the east coast of Australia.
Starting conversations with strangers and hearing the stories, hopes and dreams of so many wonderful people has increased my faith and confidence in the amazing potential of human beings. The effect of hearing these tender stories often stays with me long after we part. One conversation was with a man from Tibet who had spent four years in Chinese prison where he said he learnt to manifest a compassionate response to those beating him. His gentle, dedicated task of developing compassion spurred me on to be more active in opposition to my country’s treatment of refugee families.”
With blog posts on her attending a ‘Grandmothers against Refugee Children in Detention’ protest and catching up with a man she met last year when he was living on the streets, it’s no surprise Maitripala’s name means “Guardian of Loving Kindness.”
Can you help Maitripala continue this journey of metta walks and dharma sharing?