My first meditation teacher, Cecilie Kwiat, passed away yesterday. A few of us gathered to share stories of her joy and compassion and share prayers.
She was a living example of the exuberance and drive to awaken and help others awaken. Of the many teachings she gave, one line stands out as so so helpful.
One day Cecilie was teaching about the Buddha’s ‘earth touching mudra’, which is when the Buddha, sitting in meditation, put his right hand down to touch the earth with the tips of his fingers. I’ve always thought of this as him plugging into the earth like an electric plug into a socket. Cecilie was taking about compassion and equanimity when she drew our attention to this image, and she said:
“There is an expression from the SouthWestern US, from the Navajo or Hopi people, and it perfectly describes what this experience is, it captures the embrace of the Buddha’s compassion, an embrace which excludes no one and no thing. It is symbolized in the image of him touching the earth and it’s what I think of when I sit in meditation and do this mudra.
The line is: ‘He has given so fully of himself, there is no place that he is not.'”
Today, around the world, Cecilie’s students will recite the Amitabha Sadhana, recall her wonderful gifts and share merit.
“She has given so fully of herself, there is no place that she is not.”