Neil’s mother uses playfulness to teach her son one of the most important lessons in all of Buddhism.
“You see, you cannot attain the happiness of enlightenment without seeing through two eyes, Chudipatha (precious little son), like this. One eye is karuna (compassion). The other eye is panna (wisdom). Lalitha smiles and holds her right index finger and her pinky finger up to her face, folding the middle two fingers down under her nose as she points at both of her eyes. Neil laughs. He tries to imitate his mother, but he can’t figure out how to fold down his middle two fingers. He uses his index finger and his middle finger awkwardly, relaxing into his mother’s unconditional acceptance and love.
“See how happy we are? How we are laughing? This is because we understand the paths of karuna and panna, you see? We see through both eyes. You see Chudipatha, these truths can only be seen by people without too much dust in their eyes. When we practice, our eyes are cleaner, and our vision is clear. We see this noble truth. Isn’t it beautiful? Just be wise, chudapitha, be kind. Be yourself. Laugh and enjoy the wonderful teachings of the great Prince Siddhartha.”
“Momma, will you tell me the story again?”
“Of course, my dear, of course.”
Lalitha’s precious son crawls into her lap, offering her the chance to stroke his glistening hair, still damp from his morning swim with the cows. She tells his favorite story about the Buddha, for the second time that day.