THE JEWEL IN THE TEMPLE
By Ven. Shih Jingang
Once, as I was about to hold a summer Dharma class on a beach, as the first students began to arrive for the session I picked up two rocks and carefully placed them, one on top of the other, on to a much larger rock base. Observing what I had just done, three students approached: a young married couple and their five year old son.
“G’day Sifu, what were you doing?” asked the woman.
“Building an altar for the temple,” I replied.
“Altar? Temple?” said the confused woman staring at the pile of rocks on the beach.
“But there is no Buddha here for your altar!” asserted her husband.
“Isn’t there?” I replied.
Then their little boy did three prostrations before the pile of rocks. In response I bowed to him. Then together we bowed to the ocean, the trees, the boy’s parents. All Buddha.
We are interconnected and interdependent in countless ways and, yes, even a small child may be able to see that and more. May all sentient beings see the precious jewel in the temple.
Ven Nguyen Tang & Ven Shil Jingang at Duc Son Buddhist Center, Bothwell, Tasmania (24/5/2021)