I first came across Buddhism in 1974 when I spent time in Thailand at a particularly vulnerable time in my life and for reasons beyond me I felt quite an instant connection. At the time I drank far too much for a 19 year old in an effort to drown past pains which had left me with no sense of identity.
For many years I tended only to rely on my faith at times when life was either painful or difficult but as I’ve grown older and more aware I’ve felt the need to also give back. When life is going well for me it’s important for me to give thanks.
For me Buddhism isn’t religion, it’s a way of life. It’s a simple belief that compassionate and kindness when given is returned, and that has been my experience. The past few months have been extremely difficult for me and very testing but as the rain passes I can again feel the warmth of the sun. Today I give thanks.
Life right now is very emotive. Two of my grandchildren are emigrating to Australia tomorrow and as I come to terms with that I’m just starting the last two weeks of my present job before moving to Wales to start a new job on 1st September. The paradox of saying goodbye to colleagues I’ve come to know and hello to others I need to get to know isn’t something I’m particularly looking forward to; as quite a sensitive person I’m going to have to work hard at keeping the lid on it all.
All around my house there’s packing boxes in every room, some taped up and others half full and so I’m feeling strangely transient while trying to lead a normal life. Spiritually I’ve already left one life but not yet started another; it feels like the (Buddhist) state of Bardo, the time between death and reincarnation. Thankfully I have a very strong faith.