The Buddha, The Dharma, The Sangha

"Spiritual powers and their wondrous functioning--hauling water and carrying firewood." --Layman Pang, upon his realization

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Dana & A Bow

Thursday Night Meditation behind us, J and I headed for the door.  I was carrying the portable butsudan, jokingly referred to as the Buddha Emergency Basket,  (have Buddha will travel), listening intently as J described a snarled relationship he was in with a fellow meditator, someone who hadn't sat with us for awhile.
J is an emotional young person, and by his own definition, susceptible to crushes from afar, and when love is at hand, petrified of action--in other words, the sort of love that never appears clear, not even for one moment--it's either too far away or too close!  And who has not been there?
We closed the door on our Meditation room and started down the stairs to the landing where I always put out a small Dana bowl.  Occasionally there are a few coins or a dollar or two.  Once I had a coupon for a Dunkin' Donuts flatbread! even though it had expired.
J had so much on his mind, and words just seemed to tangle the snarls all the more.  Still I listened without trying to "make it all better", which is not easy for me, since he is almost the age of my youngest child.
As we got to the Dana bowl, J ceased talking, looked at the bowl, and without skipping a beat, bowed deeply.
For one split second, he was at ease.
And I was awed by the simplicity and sincerity of his action.  I was awed by the healing moment his bow created!
This was a bow for both of us, and I felt an intense wave of gratitude.
Here was clarity, grace beyond words.
I don't know if this is a usual habit of J's, or whether he was simply moved in that moment to offer a bow to the Dana bowl.  It was a beautiful dana.
A bowl filled with a bow.
The moment passed.  I added the bowl to my basket and J continued down the stairs, still trying to use words to express what seemed inexpressible.
At the car he gave me an awkward hug, and all I could say was, J, no matter what happens between you and your friend, if you act intentionally from the heart with honesty and compassion, she will always be your friend.
I offered Metta for the both of them later, and hoped that their practice of sitting mindfully would enable them to fully communicate with one another, and to open wholesome ways of being in the world of love.

Namu Amida Butsu!

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

This is beautiful, Brooke. Thank you for sharing.