I'd like to read this story to you.
There's a true story of a wife whose husband had been in Japan
during the war. In Japan he lived with a Japanese woman and had a
couple of children with her. He loved the Japanese woman very much.
When he came home he did not tell his wife about this love but finally
when he knew he was dying he confessed to her the truth of the
relationship and the children.
At first she was very upset, but then something within her began to
stir and she worked and worked with her anguished feelings. Finally
before her husband died she said, "I will take care of them."
So, she went to Japan, found the young woman and brought her and the
two children back to the United States. They made a home together and
the wife did all she could to teach the young woman English, to get
her a job, and to help with the children. That is what true love is.
For the kind of love that we are talking about, Dana Paramita,
is not that kind of love that's self centered, that is only
concerned with what we conceive of as needy love. You know it's
interesting as I look at different people's relationships… You
know, have you ever seen a couple where they are so into each other
that no one else matters? None of their other friends matter? The
rest of the world could go to hell for all they care because they have
each other now. I think that's an example of the kind of love
we're not talking about. That's kind of like two black holes
that kind of… it doesn't give light. It just sucks in light but
the kind of love I'm talking about is like a supernova. It can
give birth to planets and stars and galaxies.
Generosity is not just about what we give but also about what we
receive. Generosity is just an open heart and an open heart can let
things come in and let things go.
The Buddha once said that you put a cup of salt into a bowl of water
and stir it up, it's undrinkable. You can take that same cup of
salt and pour it into a beautiful, clear stream of water and wade in
the water and mix it up. You can still drink from the stream.
Our practice is to become… not to become but to realize we are
that great stream of water. Most of the time we are so conflicted in
our thinking about who we are. We think our heart is so small and so
when some suffering comes, it's overwhelming. But through the practice
of meditation and mindfulness we start to realize, actually our heart
is much larger. Our true heart is vast, like that stream of water,
like the sky itself. So those sufferings can easily be transformed
and embraced. That's what we're here to do and that's what we're all
And one more thing about Dana Paramita… It occurred to me a
couple weeks ago during meditation on Dana Paramita, the scripture in
the Bible where Jesus said, "Do not throw your pearls before
swine. Otherwise they'll trample them over and trample you." I thought
of that because it's the year of the pig in the Chinese New Year
calendar. So, don't throw your pearls before swine or they'll trample
those pearls and then come after you. So, as I meditated on that I
realized, generosity must be smart also. We are in a critical period
in history and we… it's no longer good enough to be not smart
about everything now, especially our generosity. To be smart in our
generosity means to give, deeply from our heart with all our energy to
that which is going to make a positive ripple effect to many others.
So in other words, choose those churches, and those sanghas, and those
agencies, and those person, and those activities that are worthy of
you generosity. Don't throw your pearls before swine but give your
pearls to that… So, give your support to that which is worthy,
which will ripple effect across the planet.
So it's now time to channel our best energies to support those
politicians, those churches, those persons, those teachers, those
sanghas, those communities that are worthy of our support because they
are the ones who truly give to the world.