Today is an Uposatha but, since it is Ramadhan, I’m not observing. That doesn’t stop me, however, from supporting anyone who is. But, I digress. I want to turn again to the role that dana had been playing in my own practice and emphasize just how much joy I have been deriving from it.
I have made a tacit agreement with myself to try to perform one act of charity and service to someone everyday. Granted, this is not always possible but it is invigorating to see that the heart is in constant search of a recipient of its metta and karuna. Last night I had to step out to pick something up from the store and I realized I hadn’t yet had the opportunity to give. On my way into the store I passed by and older gentleman hunched over a cardboard sign on which he had scrawled his plea for help. He had bandages on hours seem and seemed to be sleeping or in a stupor. Immediately my mind began searching for the best way to help him.
Making my way through the aisles, my thoughts raced through the options: should I buy him a soda? No, he surely doesn’t need al of that caffeine and sugar. A coffee drink? No, most of those have milk and who knows of he’s allergic. Nuts? Same issue. Eventually i decoded on iced tea and, while walking around, I noticed they sold ponchos too. Since it was raining and he was sitting out in the open with one a tee sorry and jeans I bought that for him as well. At this point i was nervous; perhaps he didn’t need or wouldn’t want the poncho and massive he didn’t like iced tea. Fortunately, I quickly countered the thought by reflecting on the fact that I can only control my intentions, not the reactions of others.
Walking out of the store I had to gently rouse him to offer the poncho and tea wick he accepted. The best part for me was when i had to help him figure out how to put the ponchoon simply due to the connection we shared in that moment. And, once he was good I bade him well and left. Yes, it was a small thing but my heart is yet aglow even now. Sabbe Satta Sukhita hontu!