Have you ever gone to a new environment and hoped that the people would welcome you warmly?
How do you make them accept you and treat you like one of the team?
This was the challenge that the nuns from GWBI faced when they moved to the island.
The nuns were once out with our Teacher Zhenru and two children came forward to speak to our Teacher.
Our Teacher asked them what would they like to be when they grew up.
The boy enthusiastically said that he wanted to be a scientist. The girl on the other hand, wanted to be a model.
After their brief interaction and the children’s departure, our Teacher shared with the nuns about her contemplation.
How nice if the children knew that when they grew up, they too could also opt to be a nun or a monk. Yet, many do not know of the existence of the Triple Gems.
With the motivation to let more people encounter the Triple Gems, the nuns designed a programme for children which taught them about mindfulness, peace and acceptance.
For many years, it has been unheard of to let people of faith and religion to do any kind of sharing in schools. Yet, the programme designed by the GWBI nuns was valued by the school and they went to conduct the course for the Grade 5 students.
The programme was so successful that the school invited the nuns to return to the school as the children had a lot of questions which they wanted to ask the nuns.
They ranged from:
“Why did they become a nun?”
“Would they have it any other way if they were to go back in time? Would they still be a nun?”
Such genuine questions from the young hearts!
Another outreach which the nuns did was to get to know the neighbours.
There was an elderly neighbour who was quite reserved and doubtful about the motive of the nuns’ social visit to his home.
In the beginning, he was not willing to speak much but one day during a visit, the nuns found the neighbour walking with a limp. After a brief chat, they found out that he slipped and fell in the morning as the ground was slippery due to the low temperature.
The nuns felt that the elderly neighbour is like their grandfather’s age and what would they do if their grandfather fell?
The nuns then decided to go and buy a kind of footwear accessories that had nails on the base to prevent slipping.
When the nuns went back to the neighbour with what they bought for him. He was shocked to see them twice in a day. When they presented him with the winter footwear, he was touched by their care and concern.
From then on, the ice kind of broke and their friendship began to blossom.
This sharing made me miss my grandfather. He died when I was 14. I do miss him dearly. I did some offering to the Triple Gems on behalf of my grandparents and ancestors, supplicating that they will be reborn in the happy realms in their future lives, have the opportunity to learn Lamrim and attain the state of Buddhahood.
Rejoice the nuns for loving kindness towards their neighbours and community like they are all their family member.
By caring for the people around you, the wall between them and you will be no longer exist as genuine loving kindness broke it down!