Monday, September 23, 2002

Two Bodhi Leaves have Fallen

Sandy: Recently, a Bodhi leaf fell in front of me when I was doing prayers to an open-air Buddha. This is the second time in my life. Like the very first time it happened, I am unemployed and very ill. Would anyone be able to share a little about Bodhi leaves that had fallen in their lives?

Zeph: Hi Sandy, this is what I think. Falling Bodhi leaves are just like any other falling leaves- the natural law of impermanence at work. But what makes a falling Bodhi leaf more special is that it should serve to AWAKEN us to the truth of change (impermanence), since the Buddha awakened under the Bodhi tree, since "Bodhi" means "awakening".

But please don't understand this only negatively. Since you are ill, it does not imply you will fall like the leaf due to impermanence. It can also mean you will get well. Change can happens both ways- for better or for worse. You did get well after the first time a Bodhi leaf fell before you when you were ill- things changed for the better, did they not? This second time round, will things change for the better? There is perhaps no guarantee- but what is guaranteed is that there will be change to your situation. May you be strong and brave to actively make any decisions to change your situation for the better. And may you be strong and brave spiritually to accept any inevitable changes that may come.

What does impermanence teach us? Not to simply be unattached to life and what is precious in life, but to treasure the transiency of life in each and every moment, which will not return- to make the most of NOW.

Sometimes it is funny that we keep praying to the Buddha for good health, forgetting this simple truth that no matter how good our health will be, it will come to pass one day. How can the Buddha keep us alive forever, as long as we have our own unresolved life and death karma to deal with by ourselves? Let us pray instead, that the Buddha guides us to learn whatever we should in the moment, be we in good or not so good health. Perhaps the falling Bodhi leaf is already a teaching from Him? Why not?

So much said, maybe the falling leaf had no particular meaning. It might just be a falling leaf :-]

May you be well and happy :-]
May you have a speedy recovery. reply

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