Monday, September 20, 2010
On behalf of the Buddhist Prison Chaplains, I was asked to make a presentation to Bhante - the Ven Khemadhammo Mahathera OBE, on the occasion of the 25th Anniversary. This was to honour the great work Bhante had achieved over a quarter of a century, in bringing the teachings of the Buddha to an ever-increasing prison population, in which the number of Buddhists was increasing even faster. The gift they had chosen was an 8-foot tall Ginkgo Tree, to be planted in the grounds of the Forest Hermitage, where it was to be deivered today. This tree was closely associated with Buddhist monasteries first in China from about 1100 AD, and then Japan about 100 years later. In the autumn the Ginkgo Tree sheds its leaves, making a beautiful golden carpet. It was related that the Buddha used a handful of Ginkgo leaves in talking to his followers, telling them that what he had taught them so far, compared with the whole of the Dhamma, was like the number of leaves in his hand compared with with all the leaves on Ginkgo treas throughout the world.
Lindsay drove, and we got back home in just under two hours, after dropping Prins Gunasekara at Marble Arch to get a Central Line train.