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I was waiting for the bus this morning when a stranger pulled up and told me that bus drivers across the city had gone on strike. Later, as I was driving to work I saw another commuter unknowingly waiting for the bus in the rain. Inspired by the random act of kindness shown to me earlier, I stopped and passed on the news of the strike to this person. Just as anyone else would have done given the same situation!
U. from Sydney, Australia
Meeting with and listening to Rev. Heng Sure's musical way of teaching the Dharma as well as other topics at the "Council for a Parliament of World Religions" in Melbourne recently gave new dimensions to ways of teaching. Religious teaching tends often to be bone dry and as a result many people - especially young ones - loose interest. This musical way I believe can open their hearts and minds to a better world.
MB from Malmo, Sweden
Pure Land and Police Fine
My co-worker often asks what I do while I volunteer at a Buddhist temple and how do I feel when I meditate. She is interested in learning Buddhism but she thinks it's too difficult for her. I gave her a book on Pure Land. Last week she went into the office and told me she got a police fine for talking on the phone while driving to work. "Oh that was hard!" she said, "I kept telling myself, Pure Land! The police are doing their job. Great Job! Amitabha! They are doing well. Pure Land! I am not going to be angry! Pure Land!!" Later on she added, "I am not sure how Pure Land had helped me but I am actually not that upset, so I thank you for your book." So...I hope this Paramita music CD would help her more =)
I. from Sydney, Australia
Maybe we perform many priceless acts of kindness in a day and every day. That is how it feels for me being an acupuncturist and working in a community clinic setting. Some of those acts of kindness are really my job. I should be listening and paying attention to my interactions with people. I am constantly learning to get better at that too. I also experience great joy in those acts of kindness. It does not feel like a one-person exchange but a series of events of communication between people that open other possibilities to happen. As an example, yesterday I was volunteering after my shift to help the evening shift, as that is part of my job. It turned out perfect because I was working with another practitioner and was able to accomplish more by getting her input. Usually we work alone as practitioners on our shifts. I was struggling with an email to send someone to suggest a medicinal tea to them. It turned out by sharing with the practitioner what I was doing, she was able to tell me we had in stock a perfect tea for the situation. It seemed magic to me. A tea they had ordered and could not use and then this moment arrives and by a series of decisions and staying open with communication, it became a complete experience for me.
E. from Berkeley, USA
Doing Time, Doing Zazen
A couple of weeks ago, I helped out at my local Soto Zen temple, stuffing many zafus (meditation cushions) for people doing time in prison. With the guidance of the Soto priest, they will do zazen to help them get rid of their marijuana-addiction. I am a strong believer of rehabilitation instead of harsh punishment in the prisons. The people who's serving time are human beings like everybody else, and they need our support and our compassion.
Y.K.H.N. from Kristiansand, Norway
In the sutra of the past vows of Earth Store Bodhisattva, the Buddha explained very very clearly to us that there are three kinds of giving. They are giving of wealth, giving of Dharma and giving of fearlessness. When I read the sutra, I was extremely excited to learn how these types of giving enable one to plant blessings, and the more I read the sutra, the more it gave me encouragement to do more giving. For example, when I saw some beggars on the street or those who are sick, I would immediately take out my wallet and give my money to them and sometimes I would buy them food and nutritious drinks. And when I returned to Indonesia, my sister and I would buy fish from the market and liberate them in a safe river near my house. My heart was full of joy whenever I did meritorious work. These are examples of me giving wealth to the poor and giving fearlessness to the animals.
Buddha's Disciple from Pleasant Hill, United States
Searching for Justice
I helped a friend find legal representation after her university mistreated her following an attack by another student. Talk about a double dose of suffering! I hope she can heal, complete her degree, and find work in a field she loves.
S from Portland, Oregon
I Didn't Get Angry
(Again a story from me, 3rd time, this time to pass on to a new friend for his birthday - so here's the story:) I was volunteering at a school in a project about injustice in the world. A macho-type guy from a grade which was not in the project came up and started telling me i'm a hippie - obviously and intentionally trying to insult me. It didn't take effort not to use anger in responding. :) may all beings have non-anger. Amituofo
F from Leeuwarden, Holland
Anger Is Bad News
i was all angry at this guy for derailing some process that i thought i wanted to happen, and it messed up my shoulders and the world got dark. totally bad news. then it was remembered to me the Dalai Lama said about the Chinese that people who seem to be mean to you are good teachers, and then this other thing from some other text that said if people abuse you in public you should say, 'Yeah, well, you're right probably, okay, thanks!'. Ha ha! Now i'm not angry at all. i guess this is just kindness to myself, but maybe it counts? i certainly won't yell at that guy or anything. He's just doing his best! thanks!
M. from Northampton, USA
Today I helped Laung Pho to the meditation hall, this makes me feel like I’m doing something kusala (wholesome) at this time my mind was not affected by lust, hate or greed.
S B from Fresno, United States