My first Buddha was given to me by a very dear friend after a holiday to Malaysia.
She brought it back to me and gave it to me with love and told me that was the only way a Buddha should be acquired.
This was during my flower child period when my children were still young.
I had become a vegetarian and over my years as a single mum I taught them both what I had learned about the grace of God and that God was the same in all religions.
My friend had given me this precious gift just months before she drowned, tragically young in the Gulf of Mexico.
This metal Buddha still sits in my Christian office and is still much loved.
I gave up my interest in Buddhism after deciding that the eightfold path was something I might never be able to take but my children were not so easily discouraged.
The statue of the Buddha should always be a gift in the same way that the Maori artefact, the Pounamu made from jade have to be placed around the neck by the giver and received with love.
The grace of God which passes all understanding exists in all religions I believe and we are fortunate to be able to have these reminders around us as we grow old.
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