What have you done for me lately?

We have all probably heard the expression “naughty by nature”, but what about the expression “selfish by nature”?
Well I think today’s society has created a propensity for us to always want more, and to look at what others have done for us. It is almost an American tradition, that seems bred into us.
Ask yourself, if no one did anything for you, would you do for others?
Giving with pure motivation and intention is called dana paramita, or “perfection of giving.”
I started thinking about how donations to your church or temple, are usually only given at a service. This is because we feel something has been given to us, so we should give something back in return. And If we attend a workshop, we give even more because we feel we were given more.
This is not dana paramita, this is “selfish by nature”.
Do yourself a favor, and the next time you attend your chosen church or temple service, do not give anything. Break yourself of this defilement (Abhidhamma: Ten defilement’s and unwholesome roots)
Give when your heart and your intention is pure. Give without any expectation. And know that you can give anytime to anyone, with loving kindness. It does not need to be money, it can be a simple smile or a hug. It can be food for the hungry, or giving rest to the weary. A warm blanket for someone who is cold, or shelter for a homeless animal. It can be a conversation with someone old or lonely. The gift of your time, your attention, your loving kindness is a precious gift. Be mindful of this truth.
Being mindful is to have compassion and awareness. If your church or temple is in need of help, then please help them. Donate freely and greatly with love from your heart. No rewards, no expectation, and for no benefit to your self.
You will feel your heart blossom like a beautiful lotus when it feels the Sun, I assure you.

The Buddha is here right now, I feel it in you and I feel it in me. This is our true nature, and we only need lift this veil of illusion to realize this.
We are all inter-connected and inter-dependent. The sky gives us rain, the rain grows the trees, the trees give us air, the air gives us life. They give us everything, and ask nothing in return. No expectation.
This too is our true nature, we need only to see it.

Budu saranai and may you all be well, happy and peaceful.