As a student in the late 1950’s, I heard about Buddhism, and was fascinated. However people said to me , “It is far too intellectual and YOU will never understand it.” Being a very timid person I was put off, and crawled back into my little corner. Years later, at the beginning of the 1990’s, having been on the Executive Committee of the Notting Hill Council of Churches and the Parochial Church Council of St. James Norland Church, I had become totally disillusioned with any form of Christianity. My son, Robert, who had been living in Yorkshire, came
So whilst the group met, I would sit in the kitchen awaiting my entry as the tea-lady, having counted the pairs of shoes by the front door to know how many to cater for. I longed to go in to the meeting, but did not like to intrude on Robert’s ground. One night a wonderful Bhikkhu came, I think his name was Nirissimo. He knew that I had just started to become ill, and said, “I am going to do a special meditation tonight. I think it might help you”. He gave a guided meditation which I later found was a body sweep and it was indeed very helpful, especially later when I did became very ill. This was what I had been looking for all my life. It felt like being really awake for the first time. A few weeks later, with two friends from the group we went to an Open Day at Chithurst Monastery. When we arrived, Mike the former forest keeper, was giving a talk and showing slides, about the forest, in the reception room, so the room was darkened. As there were a lot of people in the room, the only space that I could see in the gloom, was a little gap by the feet of a young man sitting in a large white chair. With his long legs stretched out in front of him, there was not much room for me to get on the floor, but in great discomfort and with much irritation I stuck it out. After hearing this young man speak in the shrine room, I wondered how he could know what I was thinking? How could he have such knowledge and wisdom? I later discovered that the young man at whose feet I had been sitting was the Abbot, Ajahn Sucitto.
When I heard Luang Por Sumedho a few weeks later, to say my mind was blown, was an understatement. For once I was stunned into silence and could only mouth, “Thank you” to him. Later, some of the group were going to hear the Dalai Lama at Wembley. I longed to go, but did not like to ask if I could, and was truly elated when my son asked if I would like to join them. Another breathtaking experience.
So the dye was cast. My life has truly changed. I must not regret all those years lost, it would not have been the same. May all beings be at peace.