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Friday Night Suppers
For many years my husband and I enjoyed Friday night suppers out with my widowed father-in-law and his companion. Dad's companion was a widow that he met at church, who remained a faithful friend while his health and memory deteriorated until his eventual passing two years ago. In gratitude for her many kindnesses and in honor of my father-in-law's memory, my husband and I continue to treat her to Friday night suppers to this day.
-WS from Trumbull, USA
My cousin was diagnosed with stage IV cancer in 2007. Since then I have been in their home helping to raise her two young children. It has been long, and living without income is not always easy. Every so often someone will tell me that I should move on, get a job, make money so that I can be happy. But I am happy. I've learned much about impermanence and compassion and I can only hope to pass it on to the children as they continue to grow.
- K from Washington, USA
Today, after going on a field trip and visiting the monastery and listening to what Rev. Heng Sure had to say about your parents, the day continued, and i was faced with a decision that made me choose between going with a friend (and wasting my parent's effort), or passing the opportunity and going home with my mom. I felt very torn, but she said it was fine to go and my friend said he would love to have me, so i went with him. We had a nice time but when i went home I felt very bad about my decision. So i told my mom why and thanked her for everything she has done and does for me every day. After this, she told me she understood and it was no problem. i felt better after this and told myself i would always think more about this kind of situation before my decision.
- B from Berkeley, CA
Just A Smile Will Do
Whenever I bake a cake, I will bring a portion to the ladies in our library. This morning, I handed part of a strawberry cake to one of the ladies. Her face lit up brightly. She told me that I treated her better than her own family. I enjoy seeing their happy faces. Thank you's are nice but really not necessary. Seeing their smiles is enough to light up my day!
- HM from West Point, NY USA
Valentine's Day Kindness
I was sick on Valentine's day (had been sick for almost three weeks) and made an appointment at Kaiser's urgent care department. The receptionist in urgent care was quite busy with many people coming in with various complaints. She was very pleasant and helpful. I saw the doctor and after he examined me and listened to my breathing, he sent me down the hall to get a chest x-ray. He didn't think I had pneumonia, but wanted to be sure. As I got my chest x-ray, I thought about it being Valentine's Day and how these people were working to make sure people like me were being cared for. I thought about doing a little something special and took a side trip on my way back to the doctor's office and stopped at the gift shop just around the corner and down the hall. I looked around for something for Valentine's Day. I didn't have a lot of cash on me and the obvious gift chocolates and flowers were too expensive. I settled on two See's Chocolate bars and stuffed them in my coat pocket. When I got back to the reception area, I let the receptionist know that I was back from x-ray and then offered her one of the two chocolate bars. I told her I thought it must be difficult working on Valentine's Day, but that I appreciated it. She was quite surprised and a big smile lit up across her face. She said she'd been sick in bed for the past 5 days and had gotten out of bed today to come to work - her first day back. She was so touched that someone would think to bring her a chocolate bar. Just to see her grin and light up was a joy. I then waited to see the doctor to read the x-ray. He came in, we looked at the x-ray, which was clear and as he was about to leave and I stopped him and offered him the other chocolate bar. He was also surprised. He said he didn't have a Valentine's sweetheart, but he had a big smile on his face, holding the chocolate bar. I wished him a happy Valentine's Day as I walked out the door.
-Dharmadancer from Modesto, CA, US
Helping to Build a Temple
This weekend I stayed at the place of a Dharma-friend and helped her with the building of a Tibetan Buddhist Temple in The Hague (Den Haag): Rabten Jigme Ling. May All Beings Be Happy!
-F from Leeuwarden, Netherlands
I have been called on a few times to take some elders to the Buddhist temple, Gold Sage Monastery in San Jose. The elders that I transport are the most appreciative people in the world. They say "Thank you" and "Amitabha" many times; they say it when they are getting into the car, after they take seats in the car, during the time they are in the car, and when they are getting out of the car. When they get off the car, they wave "Thank you" and "Amitabha" so many times, till they bathe me completely in the abundance of sunshine, till I am completely speechless, and till I say again and again in my heart, "These elders are my sunshine. I am so blessed. I need to be on the business of transporting the sunshine again and soon." I think I am doing a good deed transporting the elders to the temple, but sometimes I wonder if this is indeed a good deed - for, can something so enjoyable be counted as a good deed? But I am delighted to have an opportunity to share my happiness of transporting sunshine - hopefully, with many kind and happy people who have done good deeds.
- LS from Saratoga, USA
Washing a Neighbor's Car Windows in Winter
It is just barely above freezing, but my car's windows are very dirty, covered with salty splash from the roads up here in Worcester County, Massachusetts. It's 10 PM, and I'm out washing my windows of my car with vinegar and water and newspaper, so that I can see out and drive safely the next day. The car next to mine is almost as bad as mine. It is a Mercedez-Benz - - one of the nicer cars in our condominium's parking lot. I felt a twinge of envy. Since many people do not have time to wash their car windows, and just struggle by, and I had the time and the equipment on hand, I decided to wash my unknown neighbor's car windows, so they too might see more clearly. No matter what our vehicles, we all have the same dirty windows. :) Thank you for your music.
- JW from Northborough, Massachusetts, United States of America
The Little Things
While seated at a restaurant, I heard a lady at the table behind me begin to cry loudly. She was with two small children and apparently did not have enough cash to cover her bill. It was quite obvious that she was highly upset and embarrassed. Her children began to cry upon seeing their mothers tears. The managements response to her situation was less than understanding. I could also see their point though. I offered to pay the debt (a nominal sum) and she accepted. She offered to send me the money but instead I asked that she help someone else out when she was able to. She said that she would and I have no doubt of her sincerity.
- D from Mendocino, CA USA
Living in a rural area where resources are perceived to be limited, i reach into my inner abundance and share across generations with positive energy, goodness and mercy. In Kind is a concept I best exemplify and celebrate many times, every day, and it makes my heart glad to make a difference in this world.
- A from Mt Vernon, WA, United States