If You See The Buddha On The Road, Kiss Him
Posted by spritzophrenia on June 23, 2010
I’m thinking about benevolence. And compassion.
Early this morning the sky is grey and the Snapper card on the bus doesn’t work. I have only $4.80 left to my name. Just enough for the coffee which I’m hoping to treat myself to before the long walk home. I don’t tell the driver that. I’m too embarrassed.
I offer to pay cash and she tells me not to worry, “It’s the machine’s fault”. She gifts me a free ride into town.
I’m mulling this over as I leave my appointment and walk through the gentle rain. It’s so light it feels like prickles of mist on my face. Pleasant sensations.
Compassion is a word that Buddhists use a lot. It’s one of the really good things about Gautama’s “middle path”. I want to have more compassion for others, and even more so, for myself.
Tiredly trudging along Willis Street, I’m conflicted. I really owe a gift to the couple who let me live with them when I needed help. Even if I buy a card from the thrift shop I won’t have enough for coffee. I decide I want to do the right thing, and buy the card. Ironically, the only blank card there has a photograph of a full cup of coffee. At the counter the friendly Chinese New Zealander gives me a large silver candle with my purchase. “We’re giving them away to celebrate Matariki, the Maori New Year”. “That’s right,” I think, “we’ve just had the turn of the winter solstice.” I’m amazed and grateful. I love candles.
I walk into a trendy Cuba Mall café, planning to ask them what my remaining $2.80 will get me. “Not much”, is the answer I’m expecting. Wonderfully, a long black is only $2.50. I was hoping for a latté, but that will be fine. I put my remaining silver, copper and brass on the counter, explaining I want to check if I have a few cents left in my EFTPOS account.
“Don’t worry about it mate, sort us out another time.” He gives me a discount latté, again unasked.
Now I’m sitting at a comfortable wooden table, feeling serene. Thankyou Cafe Plum.
Sometimes the search for meaning can seem long and hard. I’m not suggesting ‘the universe provides’. I don’t believe that. Whatever our beliefs, I think we can all agree the world could use a little more compassion.
That thing about ‘the Universe’? I’m going to come back to it in a future post.
Feelings? What do you think?
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