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"Happy July 4th: (From the Perspective of Sophia and Lara Reams, 1 Year Old)" by C. Austin Reams

Dad and mom took us to what they called “the Buddha Mind monastery” for the first time. We often travel with mom and dad in the van and have even been to a place they call “Taiwan.” They seemed very excited to introduce us to the Abbess and nuns, who were also very happy to see us. The nuns’ smiles were very peaceful and pleasant which made us feel special.

Mom and dad took us into a big room with large gold people sitting at the front. Dad called one of the gold people the “Buddha.” We kept looking to see if he would move but he never did. Other people were singing happily. The nuns gave us each a bell. Mom and dad wrote on the bell and smiled. “Amitofo,” they said. That word has a happy feeling about it.

We went into a bigger room and sat down. Mom and dad let us ring the bells. Then the Abbess came in and spoke to us in Chinese and English. Whatever she was saying made everyone feel happy. We’ve heard those languages from our parents. We understand more than they realize.

After everyone sang, Mom and dad rang the bells again and hung the bells on a small tree in front of the Buddha. At first, we wanted to keep the bells like other toys. This time we felt happy to ring the bells and let go of them with the Buddha. He seemed to like that.

Dad and mom brought bottles of milk for us to drink. Other people who had been singing in the big room lined up to gather food on large plates. We were happy that they did not prefer to drink our milk. Even mom and dad went to get some food on plates after we finished our bottles. That made them happy.

People sang fun songs after they ate. Everyone smiled. A man sat on a chair at the front of the room and moved a stick over strings while he hugged a large piece of wood. Whatever he was doing, it was very peaceful. Some other people hugged a large piece of wood as they stood and picked at strings as they sang. That made us very happy, too.

Then people stood in the front and spoke in English. The sound of their voice was very pleasant. They were saying something that was very meaningful because people nodded and smiled.

We were happy to see the Abbess again before we left. She smiled and we felt very happy. What a fun day! We saw so many fun people and things. And we saw the Buddha! Amitofo.

 

Sophia and Lara

 

 

 

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