The price of peace

How much would you pay to have peace in your life? And I’m not saying just a moment or day of peace, but genuine overall peace in your life for the rest of your time on this earth.
Can we even put a price on it? Isn’t this beyond any monetary amount?
Well personally, I do feel that peace is truly priceless.

Today I find myself so very grateful for the tremendous amount of peace and acceptance that I have in my life. But in that gratitude, I also realize that this did not just magically happen for me. This came about because of all the loving kindness, compassion and teachings of the monastics from the Blue Lotus Temple. Each one of these incredible human beings has been such a beautiful example of love and acceptance to me and my Family. Every day, and every week, they offer their teachings from the dhamma. Sometimes in words when they offer a dhamma talk, and other times simply by their silent acceptance and glowing smile. Each one of them is always there for everyone, to offer compassion and encouragement. And all of this they give without ever having one expectation of anything. They neither ask, nor receive, any reward for what they do. Theirs is just a practice of loving kindness and compassion, always giving and never taking.

So how much should I pay to these dear friends and teachers? For they are truly the guides who have led me to the peaceful place that I occupy today.
Is it worth $10.00 a week in the donation basket? Is it worth $100.00 a week in the basket?
I don’t think it is even possible to put a dollar amount on the gift these monastics have given me.
For me, I do not think I can ever give enough in gratitude of their work. But I will give all that I can out of love and gratitude, with no expectation or reward for myself. Just as they have exemplified to me in the way that they live their lives every day.

Something I have become aware of, is that many people assume that monastics want to live in poverty. They donate nothing, or next to nothing, assuming that this is the life they chose, so there is no need to give.
And while it is, in a sense, the life they chose, they still need to eat, have clothes, drive a car, pay insurance, and put a roof over their head.
And how many of us go about our daily lives without giving basic needs a second thought? Yes, we may struggle to pay our bills. But still, look around at your life and be aware of how much you have. Fancy cars, home entertainment systems, cable TV, a refrigerator full of food, too many shoes and clothes. And still probably, you yearn for that vacation in Hawaii! We all want more, don’t we.
Would it be so bad to want for less, and give a little more? To think of others instead of ourselves.

I can see how offering our help to others is truly the cultivation of compassion. The elimination of our own greed and selfishness. We become free of attachment by letting go, and offering what we can in the service of others. Be it monastics, starving children, or animals who are being tortured and killed.
And I am so thankful today that I am able, and I am capable of offering help. I am grateful for the chance to eliminate my own greed and attachments. I am grateful for the peace I have in this life.
Consider yourself today, and all that is available to you. Love yourself fully and deeply, and then love others as a Mother loves her only child.

May you be well, happy and peaceful.