The Garden: Namaste

Many of us are familiar with the Sanskrit greeting/prayer, often used in yoga practices and other settings:  Namaste (pronounced “nah-mah-stay”).  The divine in me greets the divine in you.  Recently, I learned of the illness of Buddhist teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh.  At 88, it is no surprise that he might encounter some difficulties in health, but for those of us who read  his books, listen to his teachings or who have had the privilege of sitting with him in person, it feels like he will always be here.  That night, I went out and lit a candle for him and placed it in the hands of our garden Buddha.  A series of actions involved in this gesture of prayer brought me a strange and deepBuddha and candle connection.

First, I felt a desire to reach out to someone in need. Second, I decided on an act that would allow me to actualize my desire and concern.  Third, in this situation, I took candle and matches and walked outside into our garden where the Buddha sits. Lastly, I brought intention, words and actions together.  I lit the candle, placed it into the hands of the Buddha statue, and I quietly thanked Thich Nhat Hanh for the wisdom he has brought into my life.  I asked that the Spirit of Love and Compassion would surround him and support him on his journey.

Word is that he is doing better these days, possibly because he was supported by so many who love and honor him, as I do, but very likely because this is the way of his life’s path at this time.

There is a deep connectivity between every soul and the Soul of The Garden, and it awaits our attention, our intention, our action, our opening to it.  There are no rules and regulations for how this connection works.  There is only invitation.  Do you hear it?  Do you feel it?  The invitation of the Soul of The Garden to your own soul.  It comes through your loves, your cares, your worries, your hopes, your fears, your desires.  This invitation very often calls us down onto our knees–not in penance or shame or sadness, but simply because that brings us down right next to The Earth herself–where she can speak most intimately with us.  Namaste.

Bob Patrick


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