Sister Lucy's Four Days In California!
--Audrey Lin
3 minute read
Oct 27, 2018


Sister Lucy visited us for a few days last week. The morning before she landed, someone made some South-India breakfast for her and left it with bouquet of flowers outside of the Mehta household.

Soon after Sister landed, she had a "leisurely 20 minute" breakfast, as we spoke at a San Jose's Center for Spiritual Living. She wowed the crowd with her candid stories, as they not only gave her a standing ovation but waved to all the kids at Maher.

She inspiringly spoke about interfaith. "On Christmas, you ask all my children, how many of you are Christian? They will all raise their hands. At Diwali, how many are Hindu? All hands. At Eid, how many are Muslim? All hands."

From there, we head to Banyan Grove for a "leisurely 7 minute" tea-time, after which we headed to The Pollination Project's salon, hosted impeccably by Ari and Ajay. In his follow-up note, Ajay thoughtfully wrote: "Rather than becoming frustrated and saddened by the world around her, Sister Lucy's heart opened, creating a home in which everyone is welcome. May we all follow in Sister Lucy's footsteps and allow the pain and suffering that meets our hearts to transform into acts of kindness, compassion and generosity."

The next morning, a gang of nine of us -- including Shamash and Vicky from London, Alfred from Germany, and Paddu from India -- headed to City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. We were met by kindergarten children singing "Light a candle for me, light a candle for you." Then, we went to Girl's school, where Sister Lucy saw their "white shirt" uniforms and shared the story of Gaus in White Shirt. By the end, we had all broken into a giant group hug with Sister Lucy sandwiched in the middle.

We had lunch with remarkable inspirations like Doug Powers and Ron Epstein, before we headed to the Boys school. The principal of the Boys School later wrote very thoughtfully, "Please offer our deepest gratitude to all the people who came today. The students met lots of amazing people, not the least of which was Sister Lucy. It's so important for the students to learn about how people are devoting their lives to helping those in great need in the world. Especially helping those who are undergoing, what in Buddhism we call, suffering within suffering (Sanskrit: dukha - dukhata ) The idea here is that all beings have to undergo the suffering of birth, old age, sickness, death, but in addition to that many people in the world today also undergo the suffering of not being able to fulfill their basic material needs. The ServiceSpace visits really help our students foster an attitude of service to the community and to humanity as a whole."

We held a circle on technology, even, and ultimately, we concluded with a very powerful session with various very senior monastics like Heng Chih and DRBU students. It was great to see practically life-long nuns all embracing each other.

The next day, we held an interfaith circle with folks from more than 8 different faiths. Aryae and Wendy shared a "niggun" (Jewish mystical prayer), Swami Prasannatmananda spoke about finding common ground, Janessa spoke about seeing the other as a brother, as Rev. Heng Sure ended with Dedication of Merit. And we all bowed to the all-religions symbol that Sister Lucy has in all her homes:

We concluded the day with another 40-50 person circle at Dharma College in Berkeley, and then, of course, the grand finale at the Awakin Circle in Santa Clara.

To sum it up, this is probably the most frequent sight over the last couple of days:

At the church, the senior minister, David Brunner, asked, "Sister Lucy, what advice do you have for us?" At first, she was at a loss of words. After a pause, she smiled, raised both her hands and with her trademark laughed, and said, "I love you all." She doesn't figure she has any advice to give. She just has love to give. :)


Posted by Audrey Lin on Oct 27, 2018

11 Past Reflections