Giving Everything You Have

I’m writing this because I’d like to give a copy of the Paramita CD to a young friend of mine named David. He’s 17 and lives with his parents — and with me when I’m in California. His parents have invited me to stay at their house as long as I would like to: no rent, no utility bills, offering me anything I would like from the kitchen, sometimes fixing food for me. There are acts of kindness in this household every day. Mary (my friend and David’s step-mom) just called me because I wasn’t feeling so well this morning. She was wondering if she could pick up anything for me on her way home from work to help me feel better. Just one example in a whole parade of good, kind and compassionate acts.You might ask “why do these people share everything they have with you without asking for anything in return?” Maybe it’s because they’re my friends. Maybe it’s because they love me. Or maybe it’s because I’ve decided to give everything I have to the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. A little over two years ago, I ordained as an eight-precept nun. My head was shaved then and today I shaved it again, as I have every couple of weeks just before the moon day since. The robes are white. I hope someday I will be able to put on brown robes and take on more precepts. There isn’t anything I want to keep for myself at this point. I only want to awaken and to help as many others along the way as I can.When nothing else matters but being free from suffering and relieving the suffering of others, then kindness is just normal. It’s the air and water and sustanence of life.Oh, my friends know that I won’t be staying forever. I’m here “between” monasteries, so to speak. In a few months I’ll return to England to enter further training at Amaravati Buddhist Monastery with a group of deeply commited women of integrity — a new family in the Dharma. May we all recognize our place in the family of kind and compassionate beings.Blessings and much metta to you all,Santussika

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