Remembering Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni Theri on Her 70th Birthday – Story 32 : Enjoy the little things in life


by Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni

Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni Theri was admitted to ‘palliative care at home’ in June 2021. Even though she was very sick, she enjoyed all the small ordinary things in life.

She would choose the Dhamma talk whenever we listened to the talks together.

Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni Theri was thrilled every time we took her out in the wheelchair to the shrine of Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage. She always took the opportunity to offer incense to the Buddha with my help, even though I nearly burnt her head with the incense! Her face lit up whenever I put the Buddha’s relic on top of her head.

She was very happy when we took her to see the Bodhi Tree in the garden. We wheeled her next to the Bodhi tree and let the Bodhi leaves touch and swing on top of her head.

She loved seeing and smelling the roses in the garden. She also enjoyed smelling, touching and watching the lemons grow on the lemon tree.

Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni Theri was in audience and gave her full attention at the private and personal ukulele concert in the back garden. It was performed by her long-time friend, Brenda, who was visiting from Sydney.  

Her eyes were soft and gentle when her hands touched the doggy friends who visited her in the driveway of the Hermitage.

She used her expressive eyes, eyebrows and hands to communicate, and to find out how we were doing. The physiotherapist always appreciated Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni Theri’s show of concern and care. Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni Theri gave her full attention in listening to our stories with lovingkindness.

She always delighted whenever someone read to her. She enjoyed listening to suttas, stories, poems or news from the newspapers.

I learned a lot about being fully present in every moment in front of us. I also learned about the kindness, the gentleness and the appreciation of the small things in life.

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