by Bhikkhuni Seri
In our journey, we often only focus on the goal, the destination, and we miss out on the joy and laughter along the way. Sometimes we tend to waste our time and throw our life away by rushing around chasing the Enlightenment moment. We have forgotten to be here and to be in this precious moment in front of us, because this is all we have, NOW.
The ‘Auspicious Weekend In October’ started on Friday, 26th October. The first Operation Taskforce arrived after dana at around 1.30pm, ahead of the delivery of the marquee and the Portaloo. The first Operation Taskforce consisted of the set up squad and the dust busters. The Operation Taskforce rolled up their sleeves and tackled the work; vaccuming the sala, cleaning the shrine and the Buddha statue, sweeping, dusting the chairs and rearranging the furniture. Our assistant superintendent, Billy, the poodle, wandered around to make sure we all attended to our jobs.
The marquee arrived after 2.30pm. Then, suddenly, the Hermitage was filled with poles, chairs and tarpaulins and more Opeartion Taskforce members. It seemed busy but there was laughter and kindness. We admired the skills of the people setting up the marquee with such precision and efficiency. Before long, everything was in its place, and it looked like we were having a big weekend of celebration!
The second Operation Taskforce arrived at around 5pm to take over the work. This time, the lighting engineers and decoration specialists turned up with their gear. The decoration specialists consisted of a group of women with many creative ideas and yet we managed to work together harmoniously and cheerfully and expressed our opinions clearly. The result was a beautiful and bright decoration of streamers and balloons that filled the Hermitage with an atmosphere of celebration. At the other side of the Hermitage, you could hear the soft murmurs of Sinhala seeping through the evening while the beautiful lights were hung.
The last of the setting up Operation Taskforce signed off at 9.00pm. We were all tired. But our hearts were full of joy, happiness and gratitude. We offered our effort, time and energy to celebrate the 60th birthday of our teacher, AYYA VAYAMA BHIKKHUNI. We relished the opportunity to show our heartfelt gratitude and respect.
(All the photos provided by Ming)