I met Venerable Dhammajīva on a light sunny and windy morning, August 12th, 2018. A laywoman drove me to the International Vipassana Center at Colombo 7. We departed quite early as she projected the traffic hours. Yet it was a very nice Sunday so that we came early and watched how things were going on with the 1-day Vipassana course. I recalled that there were so many practitioners, not surprisingly Sri Lankan women were dominant during the whole course. A leaflet of Mindful school for children caught my sight, so I took a photo while waiting for Venerable Dhammajīva having finished his breakfast.
My first impression towards the very respected monk was a smile in his eyes. I was about to pay respect toward him following Lankan tradition, yet instead, looking at me, a very little nun indifferently observing everything outwardly, bowing my hands, lowering my head with the greeting "Therawan saranai, bhante", then he said: "Sister, either we can sit here and talk about your study, or we can walk around 20 minutes and talk on the way. There's a park nearby where we are heading for outdoor meditation sessions. It's your choice." I looked around, seeing other meditators leaving the hall. Smiling, I replied: "Ok bhante, we can walk and sit. I also prefer outdoor environment."
The venerated monk, on barefoot, led us the way. He asked me what my intentions and plans were if working with Sati Pasala Foundation. I delayed the answer in few seconds and asked: "Venerable, could you please tell me more about your activities with children, and any study to examine the effects of mindfulness practice on children?" "Sati Pasala has just established in 2 years," - said him. "Yes, but very successful and that surprised me" - honestly responded me. Wow, then the talk continued. Venerable summarized what they have been doing for children, inviting me to participate in several courses and introducing a handful of academic activities that have been done so far to test the results of the mindful school program. There were other information that he shared on the way. But that's not what I really want to write here.
- Venerable, why did you teach mindfulness for children?
The conservation really impressed me. I would never think a very strict monk could spare a selfless love for children since his young age. We continued the walk and stopped by the park. There he invited to me stay after briefing the schedule. I was very happy to join 20-minute walking meditation and 1-hour sitting, without instructions. To my surprise, Venerable Dhammajīva was very in tune with the practices. He offered his presence there with other meditators by his own practices. Which means he walked and sat with all of us. This is a rare thing. Not many meditation teachers offered their entire presence like that way. Opening my eyes after 1-hour sitting was the image of the venerated monk (still) sitting there and about to stand up. He showed no sign of a 66 year old meditator. Strong and determined are somewhat I could see.
Paying respect, we said goodbye with other few words regarding my research study. Venerable Dhammajīva continued his walking meditation session with other meditators. We left in a great contentment that couldn't be depicted by words. Because Venerable is a real monk that I am very happy and lucky to see.
May all beings be happy in Dhamma!
May all beings be free one day!
© KID'S METTA 2016. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.