by Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni
On the afternoon of Sunday, 28th of April, a few of us gathered together to transfer the Bodhi Tree from its pot into a bigger pot. I am trying to find an appropriate word for this specific task. Our supporter Jacky, came up with the word ‘re-potting’, or as a gardener calls it ‘potting-on’. Whatever the word, it was an exciting and significant event for us. This means the Bodhi Tree at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage has flourished. For us, as practitioners on the path, the flourishing of Bodhi Tree also reminds us of the importance of the practice of Dhamma that leads to the growth of Dhamma in our hearts.
One of the most important preparations for the event to take place was to locate a suitable pot for the Bodhi Tree. We needed a light weight pot such as fibre glass so that it would be easy for us to move the pot whenever we wished to. We also would like to have a substantial pot to honour the Bodhi Tree. It seemed a simple job to look for the right pot. But, I can assure you that it took a few of us a couple of months with great persistence and time and energy to locate the suitable sized fibre glass pot in time for the event.
This is a great story about perception. After successfully locating the pot, I had to organise for the pot to be delivered to the Hermitage. The sales person whom I spoke to was very helpful, efficient, kind and polite. I told the sales person I am a nun and my name is Sister Seri. I spoke to the sales person at 9am and the pot arrived at the Hermitage at 2.30pm on the same day. The interesting thing was the pot was addressed to “Sister Mary”. Even with much good will between myself and the sales person, the conditioning of the sales person relates a nun to a Christian nun with “Sister Mary”, instead of a Buddhist nun, “Sister Seri”. Our conditioning can be useful and sometimes can even protect us from harm. However, it also can stop us from seeing beyond our own world. I am very grateful to the sales person for her help in making it possible for the Bodhi Tree to be transferred into a suitable pot.
A few of our supporters came to help us on that Sunday afternoon of 28th of April. It was a small event because it was a small job. The afternoon also brought people together. Our kind neighbours lent us their hands and offered us some of their gravel from the garden and the use of their tools. After we transferred the Bodhi Tree into its pot, we chanted the gatha to pay respect to the Bodhi Tree, and the ‘Jaya Paritta’. It was a lovely and pleasant afternoon.
May the Bodhi Tree continue to flourish and may we flourish in the practice of the Dhamma, for the attainment of Nibbana.