Living Dharma

It was the Golden week of 2019 in Japan. Holiday makers were out in full force and I happened to be on vacation too. Enoshima is a hilly island outcrop that is in Kamakura. Famous for beach,  spa resort, a fantastic aquarium and various popular shrines. It is a place that offers a little bit of something for the entire family.

“Surely there will be space for everybody”, I thought to myself.

I realised the error of my assumption shortly. Although the places of interest have decent spaces for everyone. Getting from one point to another is limited by the width of stairs. Since the island is hilly, the various attractions are situated at different height, connected by flights of stairs.

With elderly and children joining in the merriments,  the speed of climbing became a crawl.

“ok, lets enjoy lunch or coffee in one of the many restaurants to getaway from the crowds.” I thought that was smart but so was everyone else. Every restaurant had a queue.

Being stuck on a long flight of stairs, crowded with people, under a scorching noon sun with a hungry stomach; wasn’t fun for me. I could sense resentment creeping into my mind.

“Let’s get out of this place!”

With that thought, I decided to speed my way through the crowds. Overtaking the slower ones whenever a pocket of space presented itself for me to overtake them.

While rushing up a flight of stairs with an irritated heart; a little hand caught mine! I froze in my steps. Looking down, I saw a little boy. He was perspiring and tired too. With his small size and such a big crowd, he must have mistaken me for his dad. He just needed some support.

An unexplainable tenderness replaced the irritation in my mind. He was dragging himself up the flights of stairs and I decided to hold those tiny hand in mine. Climbing slowly along with the kid, I was more focused on giving him the correct support. Meanwhile, my travel companion had disappeared into the crowds ahead. Unaware of my unique encounter.

When we reached the top, little boy let go of my hand and looked up. A little confused and I smiled at him. I noticed my mind was adjusted. No more irritation. Cured of irritation! Just happiness and tenderness.

In Buddhist literature, the Bodhisattva is said to manifest and help people. To me, that little boy is such a manifestation. A timely rescue from the burning heat of an irritated mind.

If we observe our surrounding in this manner, the manifestation of bodhisattva is observable and heartwarming. In the scripture, a Bodhisattva can take the form of a beggar, a rich man, a cat or even a bridge; all with the intention of teaching us the Dharma. It sounds mystical and unfathomable. However, if we understand that Bodhisattvas are representing different Buddha qualities; then it becomes more relatable.

The only challenge is whether we recognize them. Compassion, patience, courage, wisdom and many Buddha qualities can be found from time to time.When we recognise them, the Buddha and Bodhisattvas are constantly around us.

May all be well and happy.

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