My little Buddha, are you there?

Litle Buddha

The practice I would like to show you is called “Recollection of the Buddha,” and it is taught in every school of Buddhism. You touch the Buddha and all the qualities of the Buddha inside you, and you know that the Buddha is absolutely real—not an idea or a notion, but a reality. Our task, our life, our practice is to nourish the Buddha in us and in the people we love.

You may like to spend three or four minutes on this practice, either alone or together with a few friends. Sit down quietly, breathe in and out for a few minutes to calm yourself, and then ask, “Little Buddha, are you there?” Ask the question very deeply and quietly. “My little Buddha, are you there?” In the beginning, you might not hear an answer. There is always an answer, but if you are not calm enough, you won’t hear it. “Anyone there? Little Buddha, are you there?” And then you will hear the voice of your little Buddha answering, “Yes, my dear, of course. I am always here for you.”

Hearing this, you smile. “I know, little Buddha, you are my calm. I know you are always there, and I need you to help me be calm. Often, I am not as calm as I’d like to be. I shout, I act as if I don’t have a Buddha in me. But because I know you are there, I know I am capable of being calm. Thank you, little Buddha, I need you to be there.” And the little Buddha says, “Of course I’ll be here for you all the time. Just come and visit me whenever you need to.” That is the practice of touching the Buddha inside. It’s a very important practice for all of us.

- Thich Nhat Hanh, in ”A Pebble for Your Pocket”.