Once Upon a Bodhi Tree.


3/4/20243 min read

Many moons ago, about 30 years in the past, there was a time in my life when I was ardently seeking the answers to life's great questions. Venturing through different philosophies and religions, I found myself gravitating towards Buddhism. Although not a religion in the conventional sense, Buddhism offered a philosophical lens through which I could understand the universe and my place within it. It beckoned me with a profound depth of understanding, a clarity that resonated with my spirit.

Every Friday evening, I embarked on a journey to the Buddhist Centre in Nollamara. With a heart open to learning and understanding, I attended meditation sessions led by the wise monk, Ajahn Brahm, immersing myself in his homilies that echoed with wisdom and kindness. A mountain of books and audio tapes soon found a home with me, as I delved deeply, consuming the teachings with fervent enthusiasm.

As the weeks went by, a particular evening post a meditation session etched itself into my very being, a moment of sublime revelation. Words falter to encapsulate the potency of that revelation; it was an encompassing force of love, an awe-inducing power that elevated me, possibly, to a realm akin to Nirvana. It felt like coming home, to a space of absolute completion, a plane of existence where I truly belonged.

In the aftermath of this profound experience, I found myself in a state of awe, grappling with a deep-seated feeling that I had been chosen for a significant mission, bestowed upon me by an entity elusive yet omnipresent. It was as if I had tapped into the interconnectivity of all things, becoming one with the expansive universe and its underlying forces.

"Why me?" I pondered, overwhelmed by a sense of duty and a burgeoning realisation that I was now part of something much grander than myself, tethered to a purpose that echoed with the rhythms of the cosmos. This surreal awakening bestowed upon me a sensation of privilege, as though I had been handpicked to shoulder a divine responsibility, orchestrating my life in harmony with a celestial symphony that resounded with love, understanding, and a deep connection to everything around me. It hinted at a higher calling, urging me to embrace my newly realised role with humility and readiness, grounded in a loving connection to all that is.

Life's path then led me to Malaysia and Indonesia, and although I drifted from the formal teachings of Buddhism, a sacred chamber within me cherished those golden truths. The path of understanding the teachings, albeit imperfectly, continued, woven into the tapestry of my life, ever-present, ever-guiding.

It was in 2013, when destiny presented the gift of meeting my wife, Parichad, a soul embodying the pure essence of Buddhism in her devout adherence to its tenets, that I found myself veering back towards the path I had previously embarked upon. Through her living testament to the Buddhist way of life, I rediscovered the joy and peace emanating from a life lived in harmony with the philosophic understandings I had explored.

With the loving hand of Parichad guiding me, inspired by her deep-seated belief in the connection of our souls from a previous existence, we built a life of resonance and harmony. In her, I saw a chosen one, a beacon of grace, humility, and spiritual depth, reminding me of the potential for spiritual elevation inherent in us all.

As I traverse the landscape of my early 70s, reflections on mortality have instilled in me a renewed impetus to reconnect with the Buddhist teachings that once resonated profoundly within me. My journey now beckons me full circle, drawing me back towards the warm and comforting embrace of the Buddhist Centre in Nollamara, where the wise words of Ajahn Brahm echo with ageless wisdom.

It is a pull towards nurturing the seeds of truth that lie within the rich philosophy of Buddhism, fostering a sanctuary for growth, understanding, and spiritual enrichment. As I stand on the cusp of rekindling this sacred connection, I can almost taste the anticipation of reaching that higher plane of existence that I touched upon years earlier; a sublime realm of heightened consciousness that once cradled me in its embrace.

With Parichad, my true chosen one, by my side, I find myself eager to delve deeper, to rediscover and perhaps attain that mystical plateau of pure connection and enlightened understanding once more. It is a pursuit of a return to wholeness, a harmonious dance with the divine, as we continue this remarkable journey of existence hand in hand, embracing the lessons and the beauty it unfurls with each step.