Solidarity is a Bouquet of Flowers

by Sandy Windley, Faith Community Engagement 

p/c Jefferson Mok

On Sunday July 8th, a delegation of leaders from various faith traditions (including Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Unitarian Universalist and people of good will) were invited to attend Sunday morning service at Chùa Phước Huệ Vietnamese Buddhist Meditation Center to present a solidarity letter,(currently with 402 signatures).  Presented to the temple community by Rev. Dave Wright (in English) and translated into Vietnamese by temple member Lisa, the voice of solidarity was shared with all. 

Following an amazing shared lunch, temple Abbot Thầy Thích Phước Toàn invited the delegation to stay for tea and a time to be together.  One line in the solidarity letter stated: “We call upon the people of Tacoma and Pierce County to join us in committing anew to create a community in which all people, of all faiths and cultures, are welcome as neighbors and friends.”  What a beautiful gesture from Abbot Thầy, being a friendly neighbor and an open-hearted friend.  Using beatiful calligraphy, Abbot Thay created a statement that we all agreed upon and each signed – “Solidarity is a bouquet of flowers.”

Abbot Thay, a poet by nature, shared many insightful words, including this short poem:

Solidarity is a miracle
Lighting up the road to the heart
So that a million hearts can blossom
A bouquet of peace and love.

Let us all work on lighting up the road to our hearts.  During these trying times, let us not lose sight of the difference we can make in solidarity, blossoming into a bouquet of peace and love.  As you leave the grounds of the Meditation Center, happy Buddha is there to see you on your way, with a reminder to always take a smile and kindness out into the world with you. May we walk out our door every day with that in mind and in our hearts.



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