Remembering Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni Theri on Her 70th Birthday – Story 9 : The tree log across the brook


by Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni

When I first arrived at the monastery as an anagarikaa, Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni Theri took the new anagarikaas for walks in the bush. The aim was to familiarise us with the monastery environment and how to get back to the nuns’ cottage if we were lost in the bush. We were shown the direction of the nuns’ cottage in relation to the sun. It was all very useful information. We felt welcomed to the monastery as the teacher was very supportive and cared for our well-being.

One day when we were on our bush walk, we had to go across to the other side of the brook. Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni Theri walked across the tree log with water flowing underneath. She looked at us and waited at the other side. I could swim well and used to be a lifesaver in high school. But I was afraid of the tree log. I was frightened that I would be off balance and fall into the water!

Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni Theri used to be a good swimmer and a lifesaver too! I looked at the tree log, the water underneath, and my teacher at the other side of the brook. I hesitated for a while. Then I gathered enough courage and just went for it. I never looked back. Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni Theri stretched out her arm and helped me across.

This was the first time I realised I had confidence and trust in my teacher.


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