A Meditator's Story
Dear Bhante Ānanda,
At the end of a workshop at the meditation center, all participants had to draw a card which had something written on it to help and guide us at that time and for the future. My card said “love” and I thought it was such a good fit because of the Metta meditation and the retreats that I was able to do here.
This was just two days after you generously agreed to teach and guide me even after the retreat and during our stay in the months to come. I was overjoyed to be in this wonderful and lucky position since this was exactly what I had been wishing for for a long time before my trip to India – to practice TWIM and loving kindness meditation for an extended period of time under the guidance of a teacher. I had even asked to serve and stay at Dhamma Sukkha before coming to India but that wasn’t possible.
Now, the conditions and circumstances here with you were even better and more beautiful than what I could have ever wished and hoped for. I was able to learn this beautiful teaching of yours, have amazing and inspiring conversations and spend a lot of fun times together. I feel like I was able to make so much progress here and learned such a great amount from you from the time we had together.
After spending some time with you and practicing with your guidance it soon became clear to me what that card in the workshop was telling me. Of course, it told me to cultivate love for myself and others but it also directly pointed me towards you. Because what you represent for me is love. A living manifestation of unconditional love in this universe and in my life. When I was with you I felt like everything is okay, your smile always assured me that I am loved, that I can love myself. In your presence I felt like being in that ocean of love that I can tap into now. Your presence is pure love and I am sure you will continue to spread this amazing gift and help so many people with it.
Bhante, I want to thank you so much for your loving kindness and compassion towards me during all this time. Thank you for taking me in under your wings and showing me this amazing teaching through your beautiful books, videos, translations, retreats and interviews. Thank you for being there for me, asking me so many times if everything was okay and always uplifting my mind just at the right time when I needed it. Thank you for the fun times we spent, our trips to town, our walks, and the many jokes we made.
Thank you for being my wise friend.
Thank you for everything.