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Thread: Stories of Compassion and Kindness - GOJO BODHISATTVA

  1. #1
    Treeleaf Unsui / Engineer Sekishi's Avatar
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    Virginia, USA

    Stories of Compassion and Kindness - GOJO BODHISATTVA

    INTRODUCTION from JUNDO:

    Dear All Leafers,

    This is the HOME of GOJO BODHISATTVA, our system for the anonymous publishing of stories of good deeds done, by oneself or heard about others, and all manner of inspiring stories. "Gojo" in Japanese means something like "Helping Together" (合助). It is a vital part of our 'Lend-A-Hand' (LAH) Project.

    We ask folks to submit ANONYMOUSLY their stories of “Good Deeds” from time to time to our “GOJO BODHISATTVA” anonymous publication system by sending an email to: gojo@treeleaf.org

    By telling these stories ANONYMOUSLY, the good deed doer takes little credit, yet your posting will serve to motivate and inspire countless others. (You can write an email with your deed to our ombudsman for GOJO who will remove your name and identifying information before posting. Everyone can then read the story, but nobody except the confidential ombudsman will know who did so). In fact, in traditional Buddhist belief it is the GIVER who is indebted to the RECIPIENT for an opportunity of merit, as much as the other way around. We try not to be too proud or take too much credit, but it is okay to feel good about it too. Giver, Gift and Receiver are truly one.

    You can also make posts in this thread under your own name if you wish.

    We look forward to hearing your stories.

    Gassho, Jundo
    SatToday LAH

    ------------------------------------------------

    A Message from Sekishi:

    Hello everyone,

    I would like to introduce the "Stories of Compassion and Kindness" thread - a place to share little stories of compassion give energy and support to others so that they in turn can offer compassion to the world.

    Did you get through a day without watering the seeds of anger?
    Were you witness to someone helping a stranger across the street?
    Did you volunteer for a food bank or local hospice center?
    Are your financial donations helping a local shelter?
    Did you read a story about someone helping fellow beings?

    Please share your stories in this thread!

    If you feel uncomfortable sharing a story with your name attached, or you are on a mobile device and want to send a quick photo, you can make a report pseudo-anonymously via Gojo, the Treeleaf Bodhisattva of cooperative compassion by sending an email to: gojo@treeleaf.org.

    Gassho,
    Sekishi #sat
    Last edited by Sekishi; 05-26-2017 at 09:15 PM. Reason: Clarified to fit with Jundo's introduction. ^_^
    sekishi
    石志

    As a novice priest-in-training, this is simply an expression of my opinion. Please take it with a grain of salt.

  2. #2
    Hi,

    I live in a big house and my family needs help with the upkeep of the house and other things such as shopping, picking up kids from school, taking dogs to veterinarian, etc. We have a friend, Laura, that helps a lot. In addition to working for us, she is a wife and a mother to a physically and intellectually challenged daughter that requires 24/7 care. Laura receives limited assistance from the government to help with her daughter. She is not rich. She loves our animals (we have 6 dogs, 1 cat and lots of fish) and our animals love her. What I recently found out from our veterinarian, Dr. B., is that Laura finds animals hit by cars and brings them to her. Sometimes Dr. B. succeeds in making them better, all free of charge. Laura began paying Dr. B. for animals that she brings in as she feels bad Dr. B. has worked for free. Laura found a dog that appeared to have been hit on the side of the road and brought it Dr. B. It was a Rat Terrier. Turns out the Rat Terrier was just dehydrated and after 2 days of hydration it turned into a rocket. Rat Terriers are little rockets. The dog was taken to a no-kill pound and it was adopted in 2 days. What true Bodhisattvas! Laura and Dr. B. are true heroes.

    Gassho, Jishin, ST

  3. #3
    Treeleaf Unsui Shugen's Avatar
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    Redding California USA

    Stories of Compassion and Kindness

    Quote Originally Posted by Myosha View Post
    Hello,

    From the book, "Bigoted Stories For Children" by Robert Einstein

    JUNDO: REMOVED FOR ETHNIC HUMOR

    Gassho
    Myosha
    sat today
    Can you explain how this is a story of compassion and kindness?

    I apologize for not understanding.

    Shugen

    Sattoday


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Last edited by Jundo; 02-19-2017 at 02:06 AM.
    Meido Shugen
    明道 修眼

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Jishin View Post
    Hi,

    I live in a big house and my family needs help with the upkeep of the house and other things such as shopping, picking up kids from school, taking dogs to veterinarian, etc. We have a friend, Laura, that helps a lot. In addition to working for us, she is a wife and a mother to a physically and intellectually challenged daughter that requires 24/7 care. Laura receives limited assistance from the government to help with her daughter. She is not rich. She loves our animals (we have 6 dogs, 1 cat and lots of fish) and our animals love her. What I recently found out from our veterinarian, Dr. B., is that Laura finds animals hit by cars and brings them to her. Sometimes Dr. B. succeeds in making them better, all free of charge. Laura began paying Dr. B. for animals that she brings in as she feels bad Dr. B. has worked for free. Laura found a dog that appeared to have been hit on the side of the road and brought it Dr. B. It was a Rat Terrier. Turns out the Rat Terrier was just dehydrated and after 2 days of hydration it turned into a rocket. Rat Terriers are little rockets. The dog was taken to a no-kill pound and it was adopted in 2 days. What true Bodhisattvas! Laura and Dr. B. are true heroes.

    Gassho, Jishin, ST


    Gassho
    Jakuden
    SatToday
    清 道 寂田
    SEIDO JAKUDEN
    I am a novice priest. Any resemblance my posts may have to actual teachings about the Dharma, living or dead, is purely coincidental (and just my attempt to be helpful).

  5. #5
    Ok here's my little contribution to help get the thread started: this weekend I drove my daughter to surprise her boyfriend at college and ask him to prom... then set them up with a romantic dinner at the hotel. (This is not entirely altruistic. I get to sit and enjoy pizza and Big Bang Theory reruns in the room all by myself) Hubby meanwhile drove our younger daughter to visit her friend who is in the hospital, delivered fresh eggs from our chickens to the neighbors, and called an elderly friend of one of my clients to offer handyman help.

    I'm sure there are lots of folks out there with much better stories than mine, so come on let's hear 'em!

    Gassho,
    Jakuden
    SatToday
    清 道 寂田
    SEIDO JAKUDEN
    I am a novice priest. Any resemblance my posts may have to actual teachings about the Dharma, living or dead, is purely coincidental (and just my attempt to be helpful).

  6. #6
    I and my wife live with my parents. Both my parents are in their 80s and my mother has a whole list of physical and psychological problems all tangled up. So in reality my father, my wife and I live in a hospice home.

    Over the last couple of days my mother has gone into a whirlwind of emotion and down right vile anger towards my wife and I. This morning and afternoon I had no choice but to confront it. The anger had sparked in me and both my father and wife seen it and reminded me of my vows as a Buddhist practitioner. With a deep breath my mind silenced, filling with compassion my father and I confronted my mother's anger. Though no satisfactory solution came from it, in the case of my mother's demeanor, my father and wife saved me from watering the fires of anger that was building inside me.

    Later in the silence my father thanked me for showing him "Zen Compassion, a steadfast calm that weathered the storm," for him and my wife.

    Not much for this topic but it is what happened this week.

    "By expressing Compassion in form, produced compassion and dropped anger from my heart." (My father)

    Gassho
    拡手
    Koushu

    Sattoday will sit again.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-J320A using Tapatalk

  7. #7
    Hi all,

    I have a local sitting group at a yoga studio and I lead zazen every Wednesday night. Last session a new woman came in, sat, listened to my little talk and at the end came to me and started crying. Her husband was diagnosed with cancer a few days back.

    I listened and calmed her. I made her see that she was not alone. I talked to her about compassion, stillness and did my best to transmit confidence and strength. She left smiling and now she writes to me everyday.

    She is getting at it one day at a time. I got a new friend.

    Thank you for opening this thread, Sekishi

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    #SatToday
    Hondō Kyōnin
    奔道 協忍

  8. #8
    Treeleaf Unsui / Engineer Sekishi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Virginia, USA
    Hi everyone,

    Just a little story for today about compost (not sure it qualifies as compassion or kindness, but it comes from a desire to do good in the world)...

    My family has composted for years in a drum / spinning compost container. The problem is that when it is full, you really need to let it "cook" for a while so that the contents will break down and you have nice soil.

    Late last summer I picked up a second (used) compost bin so that we could switch between them: when one is full, switch to the second one... But it was hot, and I was lazy, so I never set it up. And then it got cold, and I was lazy, so I never set it up.

    Today I got it moved and all set up next to the first tumbler. Bring on the compost!



    Gassho,
    Sekishi #sat



    Sent from my Tricorder using Tapatalk Pro
    sekishi
    石志

    As a novice priest-in-training, this is simply an expression of my opinion. Please take it with a grain of salt.

  9. #9
    This is not about how great someone is, or for the deeddoer to pat themself on the back about how saintly they are, but just doing stuff we can all do to help a neighbor. They are examples that we can all do.

    I knew a local mother was overworked, so I offered to take her daughter to have a play date with my daughter. Worked out good for the woman, who got a few hours respite, for my daughter who got to play with a friend, and was no skin off my nose as I was taking my daughter somewhere anyway as it was Sunday.

    Today, knew a neighbor had a doctors appointment but can't drive, so drove them to the appointment. I had to leave though, because of my own obligation, so they needed to take the bus home. Thus, it is only half a good deed.

    Gassho, J

    SatToday
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  10. #10
    Hi Sekishi,

    Maybe we should go 100% anonymous on these postings? That way folks can post and relate stores, or give examples of what they do, with no taking of credit unintentionally.

    Let's talk about that, and moving in the direction. What do you think? Is it technically possible with "Gojo Bodhisattva" yet?

    Gassho, Jundo

    SatToday
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  11. #11
    Gassho Jundo Sensei. Though the action was half the thought was whole. Is this not what we aspire to do with all sentient beings, without expectations of any reward, for it to just be. Both stories are wonderful.

    Over the last few days it has been a trial and a deep look into how venomous the ego can be if it is untamed and let to its own devices. My mother today was still in a most foul mood this morning. My wife and I stayed in our room and studied. Near noon a Chan priest friend of mine pinged me on video chat. So I closed my bedroom door and prepared for Zazen. My friend and I did three rounds of the Heart Sutra in Japanese and three rounds of Zazen. When we were done I got to warm a cup of tea in the kitchen, my mom just stared at me but her face hard regained some luster and youth. I asked her if she was okay and she smiled and asked me to chant what I had been chanting in my room again. So I did. When I was finished she smiled and let me return to my studies.

    My father told me thank you again and that mom was very relaxed and asked me to explain the chant. I remained him of our experience together in the snow and the silent bell ringing. That nothing is permanent. He nodded and said good night.

    So for now the storm has passed, at least in the house.

    Gassho
    拡手
    Koushu

    Sattoday

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-J320A using Tapatalk

  12. #12

    Stories of Compassion and Kindness

    Hi,

    I am a doctor. Do nice things all day long. Pro bono work sometimes. But one of the proudest things I done is donate $3,500 to a dog shelter and kept 20 dogs alive for one month.

    Another one was to walk a hungry man inside a supermarket and buy $100 of food for him. This made me feel good and ensure the money was not spent on drugs. I am sure the man appreciated too.

    I am always compassionate and kind to my patients. But this in itself does not count in this context. When I go the extra mile, which I try to do as much as I can then this counts.

    On the other hand, I can and am a first rate bastard on certain occasions and that is just me.

    To talk about compassion and kindness without the opposite is not truth. Not the complete picture.

    There are 3 kinds of gifts I think. 1. Material. 2. Knowledge. 3. Extinction of fear. Number 3 is the highest order of giving

    Jundo gave me number 3 when he suggested that I look into the Heart Sutra. Otherwise he has been absolutely worthless.

    I try to teach extinction of fear to my son, the highest act of compassion and kindness even if he thinks I am a bastard in the process.

    Anyway, i just rather not talk about any of this and just do it.

    My 2 cents.

    Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_
    Last edited by Jishin; 02-20-2017 at 05:25 AM.

  13. #13
    Treeleaf Unsui / Engineer Sekishi's Avatar
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    Virginia, USA
    Quote Originally Posted by Jishin View Post
    Anyway, i just rather not talk about any of this and just do it.
    Thank you for saying so Jishin. I said the same thing to Jundo (a number of times actually, until I was sort of a nuisance).

    But a funny thing happened between there and here, I remembered the three treasures: Buddha, Dharma, Sangha. Sharing a little note from time to time about opportunities to do "extra" service in our homes, families, and world may help someone else find the courage or time or motivation to go the extra mile and help in their own way.

    This is Sangha.

    And if sharing a story with your name attached feels uncomfortable, send it to gojo@treeleaf.org, and it will be posted here anonymously.

    Gassho,
    Sekishi #sat
    sekishi
    石志

    As a novice priest-in-training, this is simply an expression of my opinion. Please take it with a grain of salt.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Jishin View Post
    Hi,

    I am a doctor. Do nice things all day long. Pro bono work sometimes. But one of the proudest things I done is donate $3,500 to a dog shelter and kept 20 dogs alive for one month.

    Another one was to walk a hungry man inside a supermarket and buy $100 of food for him. This made me feel good and ensure the money was not spent on drugs. I am sure the man appreciated too.

    I am always compassionate and kind to my patients. But this in itself does not count in this context. When I go the extra mile, which I try to do as much as I can then this counts.

    On the other hand, I can and am a first rate bastard on certain occasions and that is just me.

    To talk about compassion and kindness without the opposite is not truth. Not the complete picture.

    There are 3 kinds of gifts I think. 1. Material. 2. Knowledge. 3. Extinction of fear. Number 3 is the highest order of giving

    Jundo gave me number 3 when he suggested that I look into the Heart Sutra. Otherwise he has been absolutely worthless.

    I try to teach extinction of fear to my son, the highest act of compassion and kindness even if he thinks I am a bastard in the process.

    Anyway, i just rather not talk about any of this and just do it.

    My 2 cents.

    Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_
    Gassho Jishin.

    For as the east winds blow my heart warms.
    To this it changes south, my heart sets the seed.
    West it raises to my hearts scythe to produce.
    Blowing the bitter cold north, my heart retires to set no claim.
    This is how it is.
    Just is.

    Gassho
    拡手
    Koushu

    Satoday

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk

  15. #15
    A Gojo story from a Sangha member:

    Gojo has a co-worker (lets say "Mumei") who is preparing for an exam.

    The office is very busy right now because many employees are ill, so the boss has denied Mumei time for studying at work (something which was allowed in the past).

    Gojo has offered her to take over Mumei's job for one hour each day so that she can have that time to study.
    Gassho.
    Last edited by Gojo; 02-21-2017 at 05:35 PM.
    互助 - Gojo Bodhisattva

    互 - mutually;  reciprocally;  together
    助 - help;  rescue;  assist

    Gojo is no-one. Gojo is everyone. Together we manifest the hands of the Bodhisattvas!

    Please, bear witness and share reports of kindness and compassion in the world: gojo@treeleaf.org

  16. #16
    http://www.inspiremore.com/

    I have been mostly staying off of news sites and social media since the election. To replace them, I found a site that has uplifting stories of all kinds and donates to charity! If we all supported this kind of news reporting, it might turn the world into a kinder place.

    Gassho,
    Jakuden
    SatToday
    清 道 寂田
    SEIDO JAKUDEN
    I am a novice priest. Any resemblance my posts may have to actual teachings about the Dharma, living or dead, is purely coincidental (and just my attempt to be helpful).

  17. #17
    A Gojo story from a Sangha member:

    The grocery store was very busy this weekend. People were queuing in the shop, and I wanted to leave as quickly as I could. My cashier was Gojo.

    Gojo pointed at my shopping and said smiling "Oh, that's an interesting mixture!" -- I had bought soy milk and bottles of liquid drain pipe cleaner. I could not help smiling back. - "Yes, one should not confuse what to put into the coffee!"

    Gojo also had friendly remarks for the customers before and after me.

    I know it is often mentioned here we can make these same small gestures. Experiencing this, I felt that it was genuine and authentic.
    I really admire this.
    Gassho.
    互助 - Gojo Bodhisattva

    互 - mutually;  reciprocally;  together
    助 - help;  rescue;  assist

    Gojo is no-one. Gojo is everyone. Together we manifest the hands of the Bodhisattvas!

    Please, bear witness and share reports of kindness and compassion in the world: gojo@treeleaf.org

  18. #18
    Joyo
    Guest
    I have enjoyed reading everyone's stories this week. I guess it is time to now share my own.

    As I've said before, I am a quiet, introvert and somehow I ended up being the mom of two loud, messy boys. lol! This past week I have been sick with an ear infection and the kids have been home from school. All I have wanted to do was stay in bed and sleep. In the past, this type of scenario has made me irritable, and impatient with them. This week, I decided to be more aware of my attitude and actions and to focus on being kind to them. I also decided to live with equanimity. I have watched my tone of voice, I have disciplined without getting irritable (especially when my 11-yr-old turns into a know-it-all teen), and I have even spent quality time with them. Yes, I am trying to have a better attitude for them, but also, I have noticed that I am learning to live with equanimity, acceptance and gratefulness even in the midst of the noise, the messes, and an ear infection all in one week. =)

    Gassho,
    Joyo
    sat today---with 2 noisy boys in the background

  19. #19
    A story from a Sangha member in which Gojo appears in multiple forms:

    I have a housekeeper come, and they enter while I'm at work with a key. This time, I received a very distressed call from the cleaner. After a few minutes in the house, he was called outside by the cops who had guns drawn because they were called about a home invasion in progress.

    I spoke with him and let him work through the event and relax a little. I told him he was welcome to stay and relax or leave as soon as he wanted, and offered to come home. Whatever he needed. After a while he said he was ok, and was going to head out.

    After the phone call I got back to work, and had to tell a few people why I had been on the phone so long. Most people remarked something like, "Ugh, tell your neighbors to get a life and stop being nosey."

    My husband asked, "Do you know which neighbor called?" I was perplexed and said yeah the one straight across, why? His reply was that he wanted to go over and thank them. Even through they got it wrong, they were watching out for us and we should thank them.
    Gojo is manifested by law enforcement, who ended the situation safely for all involved.
    Gojo is manifested by our Sangha friend, who listened to the housekeeper and offered comfort.
    Gojo is manifested by the husband of our Sangha friend, who thanked the neighbors.
    Gojo is manifested by the housekeeper, who was just doing his job and stayed calm.
    Gojo is manifested by the neighbors, who were looking out for the wellbeing of those around them.

    Metta to all involved.

    Gassho.
    Last edited by Gojo; 02-23-2017 at 04:20 AM.
    互助 - Gojo Bodhisattva

    互 - mutually;  reciprocally;  together
    助 - help;  rescue;  assist

    Gojo is no-one. Gojo is everyone. Together we manifest the hands of the Bodhisattvas!

    Please, bear witness and share reports of kindness and compassion in the world: gojo@treeleaf.org

  20. #20
    Each day I call a woman who at and in her 40 s is dying, and was a primy at birth, and I have been calling her since over a year now, and have grown to love her as a great friend, and I am not sure she knows exactly what she means and what friendship means, and this is through a special program that unites an older person, me, and a person in need, and I call each day, and was not able to call an older woman. And there was a woman dropped from this program who I still call sometimes, AND this young woman who I have come to love, And this other woman who I gave a wonderful tablet to, And it seems I am giving away the stuff I do not need, and each Item is worth a lot, and I am divesting, well this younger woman, I am crying right now because I DO NOT WANT HER TO DIE, and I reach out to those Christian, and Buddhist beliefs. Oh I know what the heart means and it is breaking, and I weep. AND I WILL NEVER QUIT CALLING!

    Tai Shi
    through all those tears
    std
    Gassho _/|\_
    Last edited by Tai Shi; 02-23-2017 at 01:48 PM. Reason: To feel what the heart means, and not be a show off and just let the tears come.
    "We cannot enjoy life if we spend a lot of time worrying about what happened yesterday and what will happen tomorrow." Thich Nhat Hanh

  21. #21
    The other night I was enjoying one of my favorite activities, watching stupid YouTube videos. After randomly hopping from one thing to another somehow I came upon this disturbing video of a man having a very bad drug experience on a busy city street. He was walking in traffic, ranting and raving, flailing around. Not pretty. Of course the reaction of most of the passersby was to take out their phones and video the guy. It was great entertainment for them. I was ready to click off of the video when they guy was approached by two men wearing Muslim clothing. They kindly talked the guy down and calmed him. Because the freak show was over for the mob, the video ended. I guess the point is sometimes to do the right thing you have to stand out from the crowd. Also, not all acts of kindness go over so well. If I catch an insect in the house I will catch it and let it go out of doors because I just won't kill something for no reason. This usually leads to eye rolling and questions about my sanity. Try confronting a racist hater. See what kind of reaction you get. I guess the point, if I have one, is to be ready. These are just small things. I can imagine what the people who really put themselves out there put up with.

    Gassho
    Sat Today
    James

  22. #22
    Wonderful thread. Thank you

    Gassho, Kyotai
    ST
    I am a student at Treeleaf. Please take what I say with a grain of salt. Gassho

  23. #23
    A Gojo story from a Sangha member:

    Many people in Gojo's neighborhood dislike cats because of religious beliefs and simple ignorance, so people mistreat them and even kill them when they can. But cats are a pretty strong species and not only do they remain, but they multiply!

    At nights when no one is watching, Gojo sets out food and water for them, and sometimes a litter box. On hot days Gojo puts out fresh water and sometimes food for the street dogs.

    Gojo wishes to do more, but this at least helps the little furry neighbors. They need some care too!

    Love to all sentient beings!
    Gassho.
    互助 - Gojo Bodhisattva

    互 - mutually;  reciprocally;  together
    助 - help;  rescue;  assist

    Gojo is no-one. Gojo is everyone. Together we manifest the hands of the Bodhisattvas!

    Please, bear witness and share reports of kindness and compassion in the world: gojo@treeleaf.org

  24. #24
    A Gojo story from a Sangha member:

    This morning Gojo found a dog. Gojo saw him by the trash cans as they were leaving for work. Gojo got out of the car and started trying to call the dog. A neighbor came out to help. After a little coaxing the dog walked up to Gojo, took some treats and Gojo and the neighbor were able to put a slip lead on him.

    Gojo took him home, and tasked their "other half" with taking him to the shelter. Pictures were taken and posted to Facebook, and some lost and found groups.

    Gojo hopes he finds his home.
    Doggo-for-Gojo.jpg

    Gassho.
    Last edited by Gojo; 03-04-2017 at 10:56 PM. Reason: Added photo.
    互助 - Gojo Bodhisattva

    互 - mutually;  reciprocally;  together
    助 - help;  rescue;  assist

    Gojo is no-one. Gojo is everyone. Together we manifest the hands of the Bodhisattvas!

    Please, bear witness and share reports of kindness and compassion in the world: gojo@treeleaf.org

  25. #25
    Member Geika's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    San Diego County, California
    Last week, at Lowe's where my mom works, she noticed that an elderly woman was buying some wooden trellace to hide her AC unit. The woman was asking for it to be cut. They told her no, so my mom offered to take it home and cut it to size and deliver it to her later at no charge. She did, and I went with her to put it together. It was so nice to see how happy it made the lady to have some help, as she seemed to live alone. She thought that it was so funny that two women had done all the handiwork, while it was a capable young man who had refused!

    Gassho, sat today
    迎 Geika

  26. #26
    Hi everyone,

    These past few years I have been in touch with several people from Venezuela. If you think life is tough wherever you are, things in Venezuela make human life super complex and hard. There is no food, energy, jobs, money, medical services, fresh water is hard to come by and corruption and drug lords rule the government. On top of that, street violence is beyond words.

    So my friends in Venezuela found me (each in their own time) on the Internet because they were looking to end the inner chaos and confusion. I began to chat with each of them. Eventually we met over Skype and in time I taught them what little I know about zazen and basic Buddhism.

    To some of them it was all BS. They want revolution, instant change. They want to see the president dead. And I never heard from them again.

    But the ones that listened, that stayed and learned to sit zazen with me, started to see things in a different light. I shared with them some Spanish dharma books, I respond to every single email and text message, I meet with them over Skype regularly and the 5 of them are doing fine. I talk to them about Gratitude, Compassion and Generosity, about the Four Noble Truths and how to find the way in a world of violence and selfishness.

    And then there's Mabel. She is a young dentist that was in deep suffering for seeing how things are in her community. On top of that she was in an abusive relationship that had her sick and mentally wasted.

    Over the years we remained in touch and then I lost track of her. I was worried for many months because other than Skype or email, I have no way of contacting her.

    A couple of days ago she wrote to me. She is doing well and she is happier than ever. Despite the social chaos and having little food, she is working with her community helping kids to take care of their teeth. She gives free dental care with whatever resources she can get in the black market. And she reads dharma and sits zazen everyday.

    She doesn't have money to have an altar, so she made one. There is no incense available and she can't use candles for the altar because her family needs them for the nights. So she drew a Buddha and made 3 paper pyramids for the Triple Gem.

    Mabel is Gojo. She is us. And I am humbled and grateful for having her as a friend.

    20170123_104731.jpg

    Gassho for all the silent Bodhisattvas,

    Kyonin
    #SatToday
    Hondō Kyōnin
    奔道 協忍

  27. #27
    Treeleaf Unsui / Engineer Sekishi's Avatar
    Join Date
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    Virginia, USA
    Quote Originally Posted by Kyonin View Post
    She doesn't have money to have an altar, so she made one. There is no incense available and she can't use candles for the altar because her family needs them for the nights. So she drew a Buddha and made 3 paper pyramids for the Triple Gem.

    Mabel is Gojo. She is us. And I am humbled and grateful for having her as a friend.
    I do not even know what do say. Thank your for sharing this story Kyonin.

    Thank you Mabel.

    Nine bows to all silent Bodhisattvas.

    Sekishi #sat
    sekishi
    石志

    As a novice priest-in-training, this is simply an expression of my opinion. Please take it with a grain of salt.

  28. #28
    Member Geika's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    San Diego County, California
    What a lovely altar. Nothing missing at all.

    Gassho, sat today
    迎 Geika

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Kyonin View Post

    And then there's Mabel. She is a young dentist that was in deep suffering for seeing how things are in her community. On top of that she was in an abusive relationship that had her sick and mentally wasted.

    Over the years we remained in touch and then I lost track of her. I was worried for many months because other than Skype or email, I have no way of contacting her.

    A couple of days ago she wrote to me. She is doing well and she is happier than ever. Despite the social chaos and having little food, she is working with her community helping kids to take care of their teeth. She gives free dental care with whatever resources she can get in the black market. And she reads dharma and sits zazen everyday.

    She doesn't have money to have an altar, so she made one. There is no incense available and she can't use candles for the altar because her family needs them for the nights. So she drew a Buddha and made 3 paper pyramids for the Triple Gem.

    Mabel is Gojo. She is us. And I am humbled and grateful for having her as a friend.
    _/\_

    If you ever get a good address for her let me know. I will round up whatever medical/dental supplies I can find and send them her way.

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Nengyo View Post
    _/\_

    If you ever get a good address for her let me know. I will round up whatever medical/dental supplies I can find and send them her way.
    Thank you, Nengyo. Yes, I have asked for a safe address or way to send her stuff. Lets hope she gets one soon and I'll let you know.

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    #SatToday
    Hondō Kyōnin
    奔道 協忍

  31. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by Gojo View Post
    This morning Gojo found a dog. Gojo saw him by the trash cans as they were leaving for work.
    A photo has been added to this story. Beautiful doggo. 14/10 - would pet with many hands.

    Gassho.
    互助 - Gojo Bodhisattva

    互 - mutually;  reciprocally;  together
    助 - help;  rescue;  assist

    Gojo is no-one. Gojo is everyone. Together we manifest the hands of the Bodhisattvas!

    Please, bear witness and share reports of kindness and compassion in the world: gojo@treeleaf.org

  32. #32
    Aw, looks like an Australian shepherd or husky mix. What beautiful eyes. Hope he finds his way home.

    Gassho,
    Jakuden
    SatToday
    清 道 寂田
    SEIDO JAKUDEN
    I am a novice priest. Any resemblance my posts may have to actual teachings about the Dharma, living or dead, is purely coincidental (and just my attempt to be helpful).

  33. #33
    Hi guys,

    I'd like to share something that happened here at home a couple weeks ago but I was not ready to talk about it because it touched sensitive fibers in my heart. I wasn't sure if I had to put my name on this, but I think this thread serves us all as inspiration to talk about the things we do on our practice to make compassion a motive of our lives.

    So I work at home and my desk is right next to a window where I can see the little garden we have in the front of the house. I can see outside but people can't see to the inside.

    I usually hear earbuds with music to isolate myself from the busy street, but that morning I had no music. I was going through a project and I heard the garden gate open. That's not strange at all because mailman and neighbors have free access. You have to enter to knock on the door. But this was strange, sneaky.

    I looked outside. A woman (brain and body destroyed by drugs) broke into my house. I saw her stealing some garden tools, put them into her bag and went away. I sprung up off of my chair, went outside and firmly asked her to return the tools.

    She panicked and emptied her bag, things falling to the pavement. Then she took her t-shirt off saying that she didn't take anything. She was getting naked in front of me, in plain street. We discussed for a bit and then I saw that she had thrown the tools to another yard (neighbor's). I simply took the tools back and said that if she needed food or help all she had to do was to knock, but not steal!

    I went back in, put the tools inside. And then, without thinking I went to the kitchen and put some fruit in a bag and went back out again. I ran to meet her again. She was sitting in the sidewalk and was starting to eat some food she had collected from the street. I said again that if she needed help, all she had to do was to knock and ask. I gave her the fruit and she thanked me.

    This situation touched me. How broken a person has to be to put her dignity and body out as currency to get herself out of trouble? How many times has she done this? We as a society ignore these people, we deny them and don't even think of them as persons. We ignore them. We treat animals better!

    A lot of things came to my mind, but I had to let them all go. All I know is that we still have a long way to go as humanity. I know a little fruit won't save this woman, but a little compassion and a smile can truly change a life.

    But we don't stop. Compassion never stops. Our practice never has to stop.

    Be kind. Help the people we ignore.

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    Hondō Kyōnin
    奔道 協忍

  34. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by Kyonin View Post
    But we don't stop. Compassion never stops. Our practice never has to stop.

    Be kind. Help the people we ignore.
    Beautiful! Thank you Kyonin. =)

    Gassho
    Shingen

    s@today
    RINDO SHINGEN
    倫道 真現

  35. #35
    Thank you, Kyonin

    Gassho
    Washin
    sat

  36. #36
    Member Geika's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    San Diego County, California
    Good job, Kyonin. Gassho

    Sat today
    迎 Geika

  37. #37
    Aw. Thank you Kyonin, a sad but inspiring story. I hope the seed of kindness you planted will grow.
    Gassho
    Jakuden
    SatToday


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    清 道 寂田
    SEIDO JAKUDEN
    I am a novice priest. Any resemblance my posts may have to actual teachings about the Dharma, living or dead, is purely coincidental (and just my attempt to be helpful).

  38. #38
    Treeleaf Unsui Shugen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Redding California USA
    One seed at a time....

    Thank you Kyonin.

    Gassho,

    Shugen

    Sattoday
    Meido Shugen
    明道 修眼

  39. #39
    Hi all,
    I'm sure you are aware of the of violence against gays going on in Chechnya. There is a charity called Rainbow Railroad, I donated to help LGBTQ folks escape situations like this where they are being persecuted. It can be Googled or found on Facebook pretty easily. https://www.rainbowrailroad.ca/

    Gassho
    Jakuden
    SatToday


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    清 道 寂田
    SEIDO JAKUDEN
    I am a novice priest. Any resemblance my posts may have to actual teachings about the Dharma, living or dead, is purely coincidental (and just my attempt to be helpful).

  40. #40

    Stories of Compassion and Kindness

    Hi,

    My wife has been making donations but I don't know to whom. I can tell because of the credit card statements. I don't want to ask to which organisations because its personal and I am scared that she would shame me for wasting money on things I don't need if I ask. Since I live in Texas and our assets are jointly owned I am making donations too except I don't know to whom!

    Gassho, Jishin, ST
    Last edited by Jishin; 04-26-2017 at 09:20 PM.

  41. #41
    How Terra and her human manifest Gojo:

    My dog training club has a saying, "Adopt a poop". If you see an abandoned poop, adopt it and take it home (to the trash). This is because we don't want the practice field to slowly get overloaded with piles which take forever to decompose and aren't much good for the environment.

    Terra and I have taken that on the road, I call it Poop Patrol. When we are hiking she caries a small pack, and we stop and pick-up abandoned poops. They go in her bag until we get to a trash can.

    I get some strange looks when we dump all of it. But as more and more trails are closing to dogs, I like to think we are doing our part to keep them clean and open for all.

    Here is Terra happily doing her part.
    terra-600sq.jpg

    Gassho.
    互助 - Gojo Bodhisattva

    互 - mutually;  reciprocally;  together
    助 - help;  rescue;  assist

    Gojo is no-one. Gojo is everyone. Together we manifest the hands of the Bodhisattvas!

    Please, bear witness and share reports of kindness and compassion in the world: gojo@treeleaf.org

  42. #42
    The Poop Patrol in your neighbourhood ... you go Terra and your human companion.

    Gassho
    Shingen

    s@today
    RINDO SHINGEN
    倫道 真現

  43. #43
    Hi all.

    I call this story "Mariachi water!".

    First the setting for this little story. I live in Guadalajara, Mexico, the homeland to the Mariachi musicians. Yes, they were invented here. It's not uncommon to see Mariachi musicians walking down the street, specially in downtown. (Just a quick note on that. The word mariachi comes from the French word marriage. About 130 years ago those were the defacto musicians for weddings and became a national symbol).

    The other day I was walking in the city to go to a meeting. It was a hot day and I got thirsty. I entered to a convenience store, picked up a bottle of water. When I got to the register I realized I had forgotten all my money at home.

    Right behind me there was a Mariachi guy in the line to pay for some snakcs. He heard I told the guy at the counter that I had forgotten my money.

    Gojo Mariachi San picked the bottle of water, payed for it and handed it to me.

    I was speechless but managed to tell him that all I needed to do was to go back home to get my wallet.

    He said that he knew what it was to be thirsty and have no money for water. He reminded me that I can always pay that water back to someone else.

    I accepted the bottle of water, we said goodbye and we parted ways.

    The very next day I got the chance to by lunch for a homeless person.

    Kindness moves in perfect circles!

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    SatToday
    Hondō Kyōnin
    奔道 協忍

  44. #44
    The unity of giver, receiver, and gift:

    Down the block where Gojo lives there is a family with a kid whom is a star. Everybody loves him. He is a teenager with Down's Syndrome and he can't speak. But he is always playing with his toy cars and trucks. He is always smiling and talking to people on the street. And he loves to sing while "playing" his guitar.

    But one day the kid stopped singing. The whole street lost color and joy and for many days there was no "music".

    Gojo asked his mom what happened and she said that the kid broke the guitar while singing a very emotional song. And she had no money to get a new one.

    Gojo asked her to wait and went to his house to get his guitar. Gojo gave the guitar to the mom so the kid would have a new one.

    A couple of days passed and the kid resumed his concertos while wearing his cowboy hat... or his fireman hat.

    Gojo has no guitar now, but doesn't care one bit because the kid is happy again.
    Gassho.
    互助 - Gojo Bodhisattva

    互 - mutually;  reciprocally;  together
    助 - help;  rescue;  assist

    Gojo is no-one. Gojo is everyone. Together we manifest the hands of the Bodhisattvas!

    Please, bear witness and share reports of kindness and compassion in the world: gojo@treeleaf.org

  45. #45
    Today I quietly listened with a smile as someone yelled at me for disrupting their life, etc. etc. I explained why and made my apologies and then just waited.

    One thing that Buddhism has has shown me is someone else's anger is theirs and not something I can match or control so screaming and reacting are not of use.

    Gassho,

    Shoka
    sattoday

  46. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by Shoka View Post
    Today I quietly listened with a smile as someone yelled at me for disrupting their life, etc. etc. I explained why and made my apologies and then just waited.

    One thing that Buddhism has has shown me is someone else's anger is theirs and not something I can match or control so screaming and reacting are not of use.

    Gassho,

    Shoka
    sattoday
    Wise.

    And sometimes the person is still right, and we listen calmly then proceed to learn from the comments and correct the situation as best we can.

    And sometimes the person is just wrong, and we simply let it roll past.

    Gassho, J

    SatToday
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  47. #47
    Displaying gratitude and love towards the people in our lives manifests the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas:

    I had this opportunity about two months ago. My daughter’s best friend recreated something called a Kyros experience (a Catholic practice that I am unfamiliar with) for her, where friends and family write letters of love and support telling a person how much she means to them and how much they love her, and then surprise her at a gathering where everyone prays for the person and spends quality time together. The family isn’t there but the friends are. It’s a type of youth group retreat, from what I understand.

    So I wrote a letter to my daughter and told her what a special young woman she has become, how she is my dear friend and confidante, how brilliant and smart she is, how much we love her, how much her sister looks up to her and respects her, and how her presence in the world already makes the world a better place to be in. She doesn’t see herself as anything special, but so many of us do, and I tried to convey this in my letter to her, what a wonderful caring person she is, and that our lives are enriched and blessed for her presence in our lives.

    She wasn’t expecting that at all, and she loved it. She loved all of her letters, and she wasn’t expecting mine - well, she wasn’t entirely surprised by mine (was a typical "mom" letter), but she said she was deeply touched by it. I’m glad I got to let her know, as I’m more of a "show, don’t tell". But sometimes telling is important also, as people don’t always understand our actions, and we need to hear that we are loved as well.
    Gassho.
    互助 - Gojo Bodhisattva

    互 - mutually;  reciprocally;  together
    助 - help;  rescue;  assist

    Gojo is no-one. Gojo is everyone. Together we manifest the hands of the Bodhisattvas!

    Please, bear witness and share reports of kindness and compassion in the world: gojo@treeleaf.org

  48. #48
    Gojo story for today. Gojo notes, "This did not spring from a self-image, or an intention to be kind. It is being shared to support this forum, but otherwise I would not dwell on it, or analyze it. It is one of those things that happens, and you let it go."

    This was at work. A person, who I do not know very well, was becoming angry and disruptive to the work environment. Other people went quiet and appeared uncomfortable. Being in a position of "authority" I was at the receiving end of hostility. All attempts at discussion, placating, or settling the person, were met with growing hostility. It became one of those situations were if you stepped to the left it was wrong, if you stepped to the right it was wrong, foreword, backward, wrong. If you do not move it is wrong. The room, which was normally full of chatter, became chilled. I am a male, and the other person is a female, and at work, especially when you are in a "leadership" position, there are clear boundaries around personal space and physical contact. These boundaries are there for a very good reason, and I am mindful and respectful of them. Yet in this situation the spontaneous action was to step forward and embrace her. I held her and told her she was completely accepted. She broke down in tears and described her own situation, which involved grief over a recent death and a continuing eldercare situation that was leaving her exhausted.

    It was a spontaneous act of compassion that was an exception to social convention, and it brought healing to everyone in the room.
    A simple hug manifests Gojo.

    Gassho.
    互助 - Gojo Bodhisattva

    互 - mutually;  reciprocally;  together
    助 - help;  rescue;  assist

    Gojo is no-one. Gojo is everyone. Together we manifest the hands of the Bodhisattvas!

    Please, bear witness and share reports of kindness and compassion in the world: gojo@treeleaf.org

  49. #49
    Thus have I heard:

    A lot of my interaction at work is done over the phone. I have actually known some people for a very long time, but have never met in person. Because of that I try my best to make the phone interaction more than just cut and dry. I try to remember if someone was on vacation, had a baby, likes to hike on the weekends; so I can ask a question that is semi-personal and actually get to know people a little.

    Sometimes because I'm in a hurry I get people mixed up and ask the wrong question for the person I'm speaking with. I was on the phone recently and asked, "how is the baby?" The response I got took my breath away, "She is still aweful, just so horrible."

    From there of course I asked, "What's wrong?" And got a very long story about a little girl who is very sick and the doctors don't know what is wrong, and aren't doing tests to find anything. She told me the whole story, with lots of detail. I listened and asked questions.

    I shared a medical story with her, and encouraged her to keeping fighting even through it was hard. I told a funny story about me in the ER and made her laugh.

    Then we switched to work conversation, but at the end of the call she said, "Thank you so much, you don't know how much it means to hear your story and get support."

    I told her I would keep her and her daughter in my thoughts and good luck.

    Sometimes being engaged isn't easy. When the story started flowing, it was awful and made me feel horrible. It wasn't a happy conversation. I wanted to cry for her. I was sitting on a construction job site during this conversation, so I was also having people come up to try to talk with me, and emails flying in. But in that moment there wasn't nothing else as important as letting her have the space to speak to someone.

    It was such a simple question, but it made a huge difference in that moment.
    Asking a question and listening deeply to the response manifests Gojo.

    Gassho.
    互助 - Gojo Bodhisattva

    互 - mutually;  reciprocally;  together
    助 - help;  rescue;  assist

    Gojo is no-one. Gojo is everyone. Together we manifest the hands of the Bodhisattvas!

    Please, bear witness and share reports of kindness and compassion in the world: gojo@treeleaf.org

  50. #50
    When my son was younger, my in-laws took him to walk with them at the mall where they did their daily walking for exercise. After walking they would gather at the food court with the other senior citizens, drink coffee and visit. One senior was Sam. He had been a WWII veteran and most of his family had passed. Whenever he saw my son he always made my son very happy by giving him candy. We invited him one time to my son's birthday and he really enjoyed himself. He was lonely and in his 80's. On a different occasion I had taken my son to McDonald's and saw Sam there. My son played in the playground and I listened to Sam talk about whatever came up. He had been very proud to have been in the war and received numerous awards. I listened intently, for about an hour. I could tell he was really appreciative to have someone that would just listen to him. After one hour or so I left with my son. Sam died within the month but the hour I spent was priceless, for both of us.

    Respect your seniors. They really appreciate it.

    My 2 cents.

    Gassho, Jishin, ST

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