Yesterday on the train to Rome I met a wonderful Buddhist monk. My assigned seat was in front of his. An initial greeting was enough to start chatting softly. Among many speeches, a Master that we both have in common was mentioned: Bodhidharma. He tells me stories that are murmured in his temple, I tell one that is murmured in mine.
One day Bodhidharma wanted to begin a long meditation in a cave on Mount Chai. Towards the end of the seventh year he was in despair at the failure of his practice, he had expended so much energy trying to find enlightenment, he had deprived himself of everything, and he still struggled to understand how to love sincerely, how to embrace the Universe. One evening, now tired and desperate, he broke down and dozed off. He fell asleep and dreamt of a beggar begging on the side of the road. The man beckoned to him to come closer and Bodhidharma approached. The beggar with eyes full of love then took the only thing he had, a cup of tea, and offered it to him. He said to him, “Please take this cup of tea.
Bodhidharma suddenly realised that the river of our lives flows in a bed that accompanies it to its destination effortlessly, and that the only thing we need is to rejoice in every smallest moment. This will be the focus of his teaching until his death.
When he awoke that day, Bodhidharma’s Heart was immense, and the tea will be called Chai throughout the world to help us bring a breath of it into our days.
Take, please, this cup of tea.
A universal embrace