9/26/2015

Alms

People perform good deeds in order to get good feelings, or to avoid bad ones, like guilt. So it is all for the sake of the Self. There's nothing wrong with this. Just accept it for what it is, and don't pretend.

Occasionally, in the spontaneity of the present moment, one finds a need, and true loving-kindness arises. There is no intention to perform an act of "charity," no plan to engage in a "service project"; simply the spontaneous arising of compassionate action. This is actual love, "agape." There is no do-er. It is the action described by Jesus when he says, "Giving alms to the poor, don't let your left hand know what your right hand is doing." It is the action described by Buddha in the Sutras: "When a Bodhisattva performs an act of charity, he has no intention to be charitable, and no concept of 'charity.'"

In such a do-er-less act of love, you will serve another creature with infinite care and devotion, because at that moment no other creature exists but the one whom you serve. You have no plan, no intention, nor any karma to be fulfilled. In that moment of love, there is no past or future.

Performing even the humblest, most anonymous deed in such a manner, pierces the heart of the universe and makes the stars tremble.

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