It was the second day of the Ajahn Chah Remembrance Day. Although I haven’t read many of Ajahn’s books, nor have I been under his disciples’ tutelage, I felt drawn to attend this event; also, because I had a weird dream just a week ago, and I made a promise to attend the pindapata and the share merits that I would accumulate on that day.
I wasn’t present on the first day of the Remembrance and I’ve never been to SJK (C) Yuk Chai prior to that event, so I went there without expectations, other than expecting myself to be arriving late – as usual. Hence, I was happy when I actually arrived there early without much traffic; altho’ I did find it unusual to see quite heavy traffic at 6.40 am – most were speeding, of course.
I got out of the car feeling relaxed and light. At peace. So much so that I was practically walking with a little smile on my face. Perhaps that’s why I got more smiles in return, even a delighted RELA volunteer who greeted me back with a “good morning”. It was a good start.
The most magical, wonderful and cherished moment, and the moment that really really want to share with you was during the pindapata.
There were probably around 500 of us devotees in the school field that morning. As I looked around, I could feel the union of the community. Soft and cool breeze blew every now and then. A very calm moment as we stood there with our plates of rice, getting ready for the pindapata.
The monks started to appear in orange-brown streams. I was standing at the opposite end, watching as their respective kappiya quickly open-up some umbrellas and walked next to the monks. The grass was wet, and the soil muddy, but these didn’t deter us from taking off our shoes and kneeling down on the muddy ground was we wait patiently for our turn to offer rice from our plates.
As I knelt down, I could feel my knees getting wet; I did sort of thought that well, luckily I wore something dark today, and I have some wet wipes to clean it off if I wanted to, but that thought quickly dissipated as I brought my attention back to the event that was happening. I collected my mind and thought of those to whom I’d like to share these merits with, and for them to receive these merits.
As the monks approached, I did my part in the offering, and then, something caught my eye. The names on the alms bowls. It struck me then and there that I was making an offering to great teachers. I don’t know what triggered me to look up, but I did. I looked up and saw a kind, non-judging smiling face, patiently waiting for me to make my offering with a wobbly hand which was unsure of how much rice to scoop each time. I felt connected (it’s not an easy word to explain but my heart was filled with joy). It was a truly magical moment for me; there was no fear, just gratitude. Blessed to be a part of this. Blessed to receive the joy. A feeling that was hard to describe. Just bliss. And at peace. Contented, as I continue to share the merits with the aforementioned.
For the next few hours, there was just this feeling of joy in my heart. That is what I’d like to share with you. The joy. The merit. May you have a chance to experience this feeling which I, with my limited vocabulary, couldn’t explain. With this, I rejoice with you. Sadhu Sadhu Sadhu.