What You Can Easily Give

This is a story from the time of the Buddha. It tells what you can easily give, even if you are desperately poor.

A poor man asked the Buddha,

“Why am I so poor?”

The Buddha said, “You did not learn to give.”

So the poor man said, “But, if I don’t have anything to give?”

The Buddha said, “You have a few things:

The Face, which can give a smile;

The Mouth, you can praise or comfort others;

The Heart, it can open up to others;

The Eyes, they can look at the other with the eyes of compassion;

The Body, which can be used to help others.”

H.E. Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche, Bodhi Tree Leaf

Buddha on the Path

I love this story and many others from the time of the Buddha.

A lot of people think that it is all right to give in order to get. This is a wrong perception, and is probably the perception the poor man in the story had.

To me, it is giving from the heart that counts, no matter how small.

Two young boys were sitting outside their back yard on a path where I frequently walk these days. On this path, just before their back yard, you’ll find the Buddha and Avalokiteshvara (Quan Yin) in the above photograph. Every time I pass there, I bend down to take a picture. There are always offerings of one kind or another in front of or on these lovely works of art.

The boys were sitting out there, apparently by themselves, with a sign that they were raising money for the Marin Humane Society. I said to them, “Did you know that my daughter was the architect who did the drawings for the new kennels there?”

They were so young, perhaps five or six, and I had the feeling that they did not know what an architect did. One of the mothers soon came out and my friend and I walked on. Yes, I did give them some money, but I also gave them my eyes and mouth.

Will you take the time to give back to people with your face, mouth, heart, eyes, and body, just like these five year old’s did?

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