Posted by: Upāsaka | 07/22/2017

Charity and Prejudice

Today I decided to use the entire day as a kind of solo metta retreat. Things have been going well and at a certain point I decided to head outside to buy some self-ashesive laminates to protect some chanting sheets I’d printed. I had decided that I wanted to help out any homeless people I saw with food or drinks so I set out with the intention in mind. 

Within a half block I found the first group of people and I came up against my own wall of prejudice: “they don’t need help, they’ve already got food” or ” these are just runaway druggies from Long Island.” And so I made it all the way to Union Square before I decided the best thing to do would be to buy four bottles of water and then give them away. I think because I didn’t need to worry about what I would give, the fear and prejudice was gone: who doesn’t deserve water? 

In the end, it was a joyful reprieve to be able to talk to and help (in a really small way) some of our less fortunate brothers trying to scrape by on the street. May I practice giving without prejudice and learn to give unstintingly. 

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