Meditation & Health #20-Blessings Are Bestowed on Givers
Blessings Are Bestowed on Givers
A DHARMA TEACHING BY MASTER JINBODHI
There is an old saying: “The blessed have only smooth sailing ahead.” When one is blessed, life is a smooth experience of lasting peace and happiness, and obstacles are absent. So how can we become a blessed person?
Law of Nature
Some people have truly worked hard and even risked their lives to reach their goals. Yet they still can’t achieve what they set out for. This is fate. Others are relatively prosperous, fortunate and auspicious. They’re very blessed for usually they get or have what they want through making some effort.
Many unsuccessful people work as hard as those who have succeeded. They just lack luck on their side. Their efforts are fruitless; happiness, money, and the goodness of life evade them. They miss out on the blessings. Such a person, desperate for luck, may ask a fortune-teller, “What will my life be in the future?” The reply is akin to “You may have to toil for life as your bamboo basket will remain empty.” Far from the emptiness that Buddhist practitioners pursue, this unlucky person’s void is the inability to achieve a sufficient living, or a loving relationship and happy family, or a thriving future for their children despite working hard. It is simply the Law of Nature.
The Real Wealth
Through my in-depth study of the theory of causation as well as observations and research, I’ve found that blessings really do come about in accordance with the Law of Nature. To be blessed, we need to do more kind deeds, be virtuous, and give useful things to people who are more in need than us, material or immaterial: basic necessities, food, drink, clothing, lodging, money. You don’t have to be rich to be generous. Give according to your means and you are considered rich. Regardless of your financial status, if you are constantly thinking of profiting from others, you are in fact considered poor. Parents work hard to provide for their children out of love and responsibility. On the other hand, willingness to give money and be helpful and generous to strangers is virtuous giving — it is the real wealth.
Donating useful things at the right time can earn vast merit. In times of need such as a natural disaster, we can contribute money, food or labor to give assistance to the needy. We can also donate blood, as there is a blood shortage in many countries and many patients are waiting for transfusions. I have donated my blood a few times.
People who are truly generous take delight in giving away things that benefit others.
Sincere givers are more blessed than those who often receive. Virtuous giving is the secret to transforming oneself from a state of poverty to prosperity. Living each day with a charitable heart isn’t easy. You can start with small contribution, such as giving some money to the homeless people you encounter on the street. Avoid thinking: “Is he cheating me?” Even if he is a dishonest man, how much can he cheat from you other than some money to buy a bit of food?
I encourage all of you to help others. Good fortune and positive fate will stream into you. Those with challenged destinies will reap positive results through continual kind acts and gradually become blessed. You may notice changes in the appearance of your face and hands during the process.
Facial Features and Fate
Have you noticed that from a person’s 20s to 30s, aside from natural facial aging and weight gain, their facial features, contours and hues undergo changes? Face reading or physiognomy can reveal your fate by looking at the various features of your face and its specific attributes.
The transformation that occurs in the face is especially obvious and pleasing among those who devote themselves to charity works, practice Buddhadharma, and enjoy helping others. Labor done out of love and generosity also yields great karmic benefits.
Helping the Disadvantaged
The blessings bestowed upon you due to your accumulation of merits may transform a looming disaster into auspiciousness. As a boss or an employee, we want a smooth-sailing business or a job with the potential for growth. In order to succeed, we must remember that the poor need the help of the richer to survive. Understanding that, for all kinds of reasons, it is an extremely arduous task for many people to provide for themselves, let alone a spouse, we must help those who are challenged without hesitation.
Next year, next life, or three generations later, the son of a poor man in this life may be the president of a country. This is how rebirth works. The poverty you experience in this lifetime, the disadvantaged situation you encounter now, could possibly generate the energy to enable your descendant to be an outstanding individual. How can we make our descendants and ourselves more fortunate? Through being devoted to giving. Each moment of generosity now will spark the arising of generosity in the future. Meritorious actions will generate merits and cultivate virtues such that you will enjoy blessings later, as will future generations.
Focus on Being the Giver Not the Receiver
In accordance with the karmic law of cause and effect, the Buddha taught that giving yields benefits in the present life and the lives to come. It is more blessed to give than to receive. Buddhas, bodhisattvas, and deities protect those who perform good deeds.
Initially you may feel awkward about helping others and practicing compassionate giving. Over time, you will accept and embrace the act. An auspicious energy will develop from your natural inclination. Every cell in your body will start to radiate compassion. The accumulation of wholesome deeds will see your life start changing. When all the cells come together, your compassionate energy is enormous, changing your fate.
When you focus on being the giver instead of on being the receiver, potential negative events can be thwarted. Perhaps your fate is set to include an accident, a lawsuit, or a dismissal from your job. However, by focusing on performing continual acts of generosity, it is possible that such catastrophes may be averted.
The Perfection of Giving
When one gives money to poor strangers along with warmth and respect, it is called compassionate giving. The other important act of generosity is called offering: It is a kind act of offering money and possessions with reverence to a monk or a self-cultivator who is walking the dharma path. Offering to buddhas, monks and cultivators are called “upward-giving,” while giving to all sentient beings is called “downward-giving.” In both instances, the noble giver thereby accumulates merits and virtues and generates a bounty of blessings.
In Theravada Buddhism, there are two annual events at which people can make offerings to monks or Buddhist cultivators. The pure intention of the giver is to strengthen the cultivator’s aspiration to study and teach dharma, allowing sentient beings to benefit from their guidance, attain enlightenment, and ultimately achieve buddhahood in the years to come.
Merit in the Giving
If the cultivator you made an offering to achieves enlightenment, you will obtain the auspiciousness too. If the cultivator becomes a buddha, you will at minimum become a bodhisattva. Your negative karma will be purified. We have all committed wrongs and made mistakes. But as we continue to give unconditionally and make offerings without expectations, and with hearts full of love, the store of merit we accumulate will bear its fruits.
Giving From the Heart
Understanding the true value of generosity dispels ignorance and selfishness. The more you perform unconditional acts of giving, the kinder and more compassionate you will become. A generous heart will experience immeasurable blessings beyond imagination.
Each moment of generosity now will spark the arising of generosity in the future. Meritorious actions will generate merits and cultivate virtues such that you will enjoy blessings later, as will future generations.