Reconfigurable optical network, the way of the future, can encounter serious packet loss problem during optical level reconfiguration. This paper presents a novel buffering scheme for GMPLS optical networks that minimizes packet loss during reconfiguration of optical nodes, consisting of both a reconfigurable optical cross-connects (OXCs), or an optical add-drop multiplexers (OADMs), and a packet-capable layer-two switch . In this scheme, buffering takes place whenever an optical path is altered due to either a node reconfiguration or protection/restoration. Packets are buffered in a distributed manner starting from the first O/E/O-capable node before the reconfigured optical node all the way to the ingress node, if needed. In the worst-case scenario, where the path is all-optical or buffers are full along the path, all incoming packets are buffered at the ingress node, or the edge router. Buffering is carried out at layer two so that the interruption of service is kept at a minimum (less than 50ms, if possible). Furthermore, if buffers are overflowed, packets dropping will be carried out in accordance with the QoS levels, which further ensure that QoS of the network is maintained. It is shown by both analysis and simulation methods that this scheme performs quite well on either a general local area network, such as the UMBC WDM optical testbed, or the MCI backbone network. It is also cost-effective in that, even at the worst-case scenario, the required buffer is quite small.