Words about a sickly Thay were on the lips of most of us during the first two days of retreat. But as our practice deepened, this notion withered away, it slowly left our thoughts, and the reality of a living Thay––within us and among us––began to fill our broken hearts. Whatever peace, love, and compassion the monks and nuns had during these six days, they poured over us selflessly, as if we were their own blood children. And the very experience of this community became Thay’s presence––the spirit of relentless and compassionate love being expressed mutually, mindfully, and unconditionally wherever we turned. To hear about this is not enough. To experience it is to know that the Kingdom of God is truly at hand.
Caleb Lazaro, Selfless Strength of the Heart, is a member of Sun Mountain Sangha in Colorado Springs. He is developing an innovative Christian community called “The Light.”