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Thread: Stories of Compassion during Troubled Times

  1. #1

    Stories of Compassion during Troubled Times

    In the past few weeks, it seems that most people have gone for living life as usual to something new altogether. I know for my part Iím spending a lot of time reading news, listening to press conferences and sharing information with people. Slowly it all starts to wear on you. Every morning I check in with my siblings to see if anything has changed, make sure my brother in Taiwan is still status quo and we debate the future. Today after months of planning, we decided we had to cancel any hope of vacationÖ. Which yes seems totally silly to be sad about in times like this. But it seems every which way you turn there isnít much you can do.

    In Rev Grace Schiresonís talk, she gave us a great quote, ďWhat will do when nothing will do?Ē (If you havenít had a chance to listen to her talk yet, I really encourage you to.) Often when we talk about crisisí, Jundo will tell us stories of neighbors during natural disasters coming together to help everyone.

    So in the spirit of that, I thought it would be nice to share things we or others are doing, when nothing will do.

    Iíll start with a couple stories:

    First my sister: She was at the store today and the elderly couple behind her was asking about toilet paper because they couldnít find any. (Yeah it has all been gone for days). A day before she had put extra toilet paper in her car to take to work, because people were stealing it. She found the couple in the parking lot and gave them the package.

    My coworker: She has a neighbor who doesnít cook at all, and never eats at home. So when she was shopping last she picked him up simple stuff for breakfast and told him she will make him a plate for dinner (which he can take home).

    For my part, Iím sending out silly pictures of my dog and cat working with me while Iím home. My company has closed our corporate office and is having the rest of us rotate being at home and the job sites. So we are all feeling a little out of sorts, having something to laugh about together is a nice break.

    Also, since Iíll working at home most days, I would like to offer a gathering time for a short sit and Metta chant. Iíll be starting tomorrow at noon Los Angeles (New York 3 p.m., London 7 p.m. and Paris 8 p.m.). I hope is to offer the meeting Monday through Friday, but it will change depending on what happens with my work schedule.

    Gassho,

    Shoka
    Sat/lah
    Last edited by Jundo; 03-20-2020 at 08:31 AM.
    香道 笑花
    Kodo Shoka

    Please don't take anything I say as anything more than just a normal person's thoughts on the topic. I'm just stumbling through life trying to be helpful, but really don't know much.

  2. #2
    People in my city have organized a volunteer "fetch" service to go buy groceries, pick up toiletries and medication, etc., for people who cannot leave their homes at this time. They charge nothing because they don't want anyone to have to also deal with the stress of running out of things they need.

    Gassho
    Kyōsen
    Sat|LAH
    橋川
    kyō (bridge) | sen (river)

  3. #3
    Today at work, an emergency doctor wrote a funny note to the hospital security guard for a prescription to take a nap whenever he needs one.. stress is high and the break in tension was really needed.

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

  4. #4
    Shoka

    Will there be a link to the sitting room?

    Doshin
    St

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Doshin View Post
    Shoka

    Will there be a link to the sitting room?

    Doshin
    St
    Doshin,

    It will be in the schedule sit room.

    https://www.treeleaf.org/now/go.php?l=ssr

    To join directly with Zoom, use meeting id: 483 483 1244

    Gassho,

    Shoka
    Sat

    Sent from my SM-G986U using Tapatalk
    香道 笑花
    Kodo Shoka

    Please don't take anything I say as anything more than just a normal person's thoughts on the topic. I'm just stumbling through life trying to be helpful, but really don't know much.

  6. #6
    Member Onka's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Rural Queensland, Australia
    Nice one Shoka.
    As an anarchist I'm an eternal optimist in terms of people and their capacity for good.
    I love hearing examples like you and others are sharing.
    Be well
    Gassho
    Onka
    Sat today
    On Ka
    穏 火
    aka Anna Kissed.
    No Gods No Masters.
    Life is too serious to be taken seriously.

  7. #7
    I have another one. My neighbor knocked on my door this morning because my car was parked in a street sweeping zone. I'm almost never home at this time so totally forgot!

    Gassho,

    Shoka
    St

    Sent from my SM-G986U using Tapatalk
    香道 笑花
    Kodo Shoka

    Please don't take anything I say as anything more than just a normal person's thoughts on the topic. I'm just stumbling through life trying to be helpful, but really don't know much.

  8. #8
    Thank you Shoka.

    I will be present as often as I can. Now that we are in lock down that is probably often.

    Doshin
    St

  9. #9
    Today, while on my last day of work for a while, I saw a dog running around while I was on a break. Since I'm a mobile dog groomer I feel responsible for any dog shenanigans I encounter. I followed the sweet little guy to a big door and he just looked at me like, "Please open it," so I knocked. The lady was so happy. I just wanted to cry. I would hate to lose track of my dog right now, with all that's going on.

    Gassho, and be well,
    Sat today, lah

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
    求道芸化 Kyudo Geika
    I am just a priest-in-training, please do not take anything I say as a teaching.

  10. #10
    A lot of people will be in financial difficulty if they are freelancers, or contractors. If you can, try to help the people who work for you by paying forward. The only person I have is my accountant, who is a woman the next village over from me, and I called her yesterday to ask for an invoice for next year's services. (My company's financial year ends March 31.) She has lost a number of clients already, notably a few hotels she works for, so she was grateful for this. If you can help anyone out in this way, try to do so.

    Gassho,

    Kirk

    Sat
    -----
    I know nothing.

  11. #11
    I would like to mention my sister, who is a nearly 80 years old ... a still active ballerina and former broadway dancer who is keeping it going every day in Chicago. She still teaches dance. She wrote me this, and I would just like to share her attitude. She is the tough one in the family ... all this, just one more twist in a long and eventful life ...

    ... Things did not shut down until last Friday. I had just finished teaching my morning classes when the notice came that the schools were closing. So we officially closed. ... Very surreal. It does turn out I am going back to work Monday because they have decided to try teaching virtual live [dance] classes on Zoom. ... Needless to say I had a lot of replanning my classes to take into account that students will probably be hanging onto a chair instead of a [dance] bar. Or a kitchen counter. Very little space. The bar work should be ok. Obviously can hardly do much center wise. So I have been trying to come up with movement that will give the illusion we are dancing even though we are hardly moving much. Will be figuring it all out for the next few days. ... They felt doing it live would allow everyone to connect with each other ...
    My older sister ... on ZOOM! ... keeping it going somehow.

    Gassho, J

    PS - That's my sister, on the right ...

    Last edited by Jundo; 03-20-2020 at 09:50 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  12. #12
    Just heard this on the news and had to post it as well.... Beverly Hills has formed a Kindness Task Force. Their slogan "we're all in this together".

    http://www.beverlyhills.org/citymana...kforce/web.jsp

    It's so encouraging to see entire cities taking up the cause.

    Gassho,

    Shoka
    香道 笑花
    Kodo Shoka

    Please don't take anything I say as anything more than just a normal person's thoughts on the topic. I'm just stumbling through life trying to be helpful, but really don't know much.

  13. #13
    Hi friends, it's heartwarming to hear your accounts (big and small) of peeps stepping up. (Apparently) my wife now buys chocs for supermarket staff each time she visits. Yesterday's prize went to the one with the grumpiest customer. It helps them feel appreciated.
    Elbow bump to all, and gassho, Chris

  14. #14
    We live on a ranch about 16 miles from a small town with few services. The town is primarily senior citizens. Some just getting by. The one cafe closed down and many folks depended on it for their daily meal. The grocery store is 40 miles away and a challenge for some to get to. My wife worked with the county and they will start bringing out hot meals each day that folks can pick up. They also are looking at having groceries brought to town as well. Other neighbors have offered to drive folks to town or do shopping for them. Folks are pulling together.

    Doahin
    St

  15. #15
    My photography friend is offering families free "porch portraits." He pulls up in his car with his 70mm-200mm lense, rolls down his window as the family poses a safe distance away. A kind gesture to those stuck at home.

    Gassho Kyotai


    Sent from my SM-G950W using Tapatalk
    I am a student at Treeleaf. Please take what I say with a grain of salt. Gassho

  16. #16
    Hey everyone,

    I'm not going to make the Metta chant today, as I got a chest cold and I'm staying in bed.

    Gassho,

    Shoka

    Sent from my SM-G986U using Tapatalk
    香道 笑花
    Kodo Shoka

    Please don't take anything I say as anything more than just a normal person's thoughts on the topic. I'm just stumbling through life trying to be helpful, but really don't know much.

  17. #17
    Shoka, hope you feel better soon. Rest up

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

  18. #18
    This was posted on twitter here in Japan ...


    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  19. #19
    Wonderful

    gassho,Shokai

    rtlah
    仁道 生開 - Jindo Shokai "Open to life in a benevolent way"
    May we all grow together in our knowledge of the Dharma

  20. #20
    People doing good things. Since I'm coughing and sneezing still from allergies and a chest cold, my significant other has taken over all the shopping. This morning he is headed out for groceries. He came in frustrated and asking me for the neighbors phone number. I figured someone had parked us in. But he just wanted to check if they needed him to look for anything at the store. Then I sent him down the street to check on a elderly couple. Now he's headed to the store.

    Also in my neighborhood yesterday, there was an ambulance to one of the elderly homes. The neighbors (who aren't related) had been checking on her. I don't know why the ambulance was called, but my heart is warmed that someone was checking on her enough to be able to make the call.

    Everyday I'm seeing more and more examples of people pulling together.

    Gassho,

    Shoka
    香道 笑花
    Kodo Shoka

    Please don't take anything I say as anything more than just a normal person's thoughts on the topic. I'm just stumbling through life trying to be helpful, but really don't know much.

  21. #21
    I'm not going to make the Metta sit today as I'm stuck on a conference call.

    Gassho,

    Shoka
    Sat

    Sent from my SM-G986U using Tapatalk
    香道 笑花
    Kodo Shoka

    Please don't take anything I say as anything more than just a normal person's thoughts on the topic. I'm just stumbling through life trying to be helpful, but really don't know much.

  22. #22
    Hi guys,

    As you can tell, I have been absent from Treeleaf but not because I want to, but because I have been working with the Spanish speaking sangha. My merry group of friends and I have been sitting with people, teaching them how to sit zazen, and I have been giving a lot of talks on our practice and basic Buddhism.

    I have met some doctors, nurses that are starting to sit zazen with their staff and they say things are getting a little easier for them. I am also helping a couple teachers in Spain that are sitting meditation with kids in some provinces via Zoom.

    Covid-19 is scary, but all I can see is compassion flowing all over the planet.

    Lets keep on working for all sentient beings.

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    Sat/LAH
    Hondō Kyōnin
    奔道 協忍

  23. #23
    Thank you for what you are doing, Kyonin. Although my Spanish isnít very good, to say the least, I will watch your videos on YouTube (Portuguese is close enough with Spanish).
    Gassho,
    Mateus
    Sat/LAH

  24. #24
    Our point of view, our perspective, our paradigm... it really is the thing that defines our moments. Thank you much for these stories of people choosing awareness and kindness.

    Gassho,
    Nengei
    Sat. LAH.
    Be gentle. Be compassionate. Be kind.

  25. #25
    I wont make metta practice today, my dog stepped on a bee so im trying to take care of her.

    Metta to all the poor animals who have to have so much faith and trust when they are hurt and don't understand.

    Gassho,
    Shoka
    Sat

    Sent from my SM-G986U using Tapatalk
    香道 笑花
    Kodo Shoka

    Please don't take anything I say as anything more than just a normal person's thoughts on the topic. I'm just stumbling through life trying to be helpful, but really don't know much.

  26. #26
    Hello all

    Lovely to read so many example of compassionate acts.

    Here we have a social media site called nextdoor.co.uk which puts local people in touch with each other. It has been wonderful to see all the requests for and offers of help over the past weeks, and up-to-date information from our area.

    Also, my ex-wife, who is a National Health Service psychologist assigned to Covid wards, went into the Marks and Spencer store recently and received a free Easter egg. Many NHS and care staff are experiencing this in stores, with many offering discount and priority service to keyworkers. A local paramedic in a cafť was ushered straight to the front of the queue and her order was paid for.

    It is unknown whether the government will improve the pay and conditions of these people once the pandemic is over, but it seems obvious that the British people and private industry will not let their service go unrewarded.

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday/lah-
    ------------------------------------
    Feel free to message me if you wish to talk about issues around practicing with physical limitations. This is something I have been sitting with for a fair while and am happy to help with suggestions or just offer a listening ear.

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Shoka View Post
    I wont make metta practice today, my dog stepped on a bee so im trying to take care of her.

    Metta to all the poor animals who have to have so much faith and trust when they are hurt and don't understand.

    Gassho,
    Shoka
    Sat

    Sent from my SM-G986U using Tapatalk
    Metta to your dog, Shoka. They really have a lot to teach us about trust and friendship.
    We sat and recited metta.
    Gassho,
    Mateus
    Sat/LAH

  28. #28
    I'm going to miss metta again today, conference calls are running late.

    Have a great weekend everyone.

    Gassho,

    Shoka
    Sat

    Sent from my SM-G986U using Tapatalk
    香道 笑花
    Kodo Shoka

    Please don't take anything I say as anything more than just a normal person's thoughts on the topic. I'm just stumbling through life trying to be helpful, but really don't know much.

  29. #29
    This is a wonderful effort by many people ...

    Andrea Mitchell is joined by Liam Elkind and Simone Policano, both from Queens, who've helped launch "Invisible Hands," a network of volunteers in the tri-state area who deliver groceries, medication, and other essential items to those who are especially vulnerable to the coronavirus, including seniors and the disabled.
    https://www.msnbc.com/andrea-mitchel...ed-83046981595

    A similar effort elsewhere ... including "Meals on Wheels" which has done this kind of work for decades ...



    I rather wish that the younger and less vulnerable would be the volunteers, rather than other older folks ... and I hope social distancing is maintained.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  30. #30
    Member Onka's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Rural Queensland, Australia
    A group called Food Not Bombs have for many years all across the world sourced or dumpster dived for quality free food that they cook up delicious free vegan food and set up guerilla food stalls wherever and whenever the need. Often harassed and moved on by police for the crime of feeding homeless and vulnerable folks for free thesevvolunteers persevere and serve as examples to us all that everyone has a human right to dignity, respect and a healthy meal. State and local governments in Australia try to hide the poor by banning food van charities from city's CBD areas and by actively seeking out, harassing and destroying people's accommodation, be it a tent, tarp or even bits of cardboard.
    I'm glad that there are folk who defy authority in order to provide to others with nothing to gain themselves. No funding, public recognition, nothing. Just pure generosity of spirit. Anarchy in action.
    Gassho
    Onka
    Sat today/expecting the hook from stage left.
    On Ka
    穏 火
    aka Anna Kissed.
    No Gods No Masters.
    Life is too serious to be taken seriously.

  31. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by Onka View Post
    A group called Food Not Bombs have for many years all across the world sourced or dumpster dived for quality free food that they cook up delicious free vegan food and set up guerilla food stalls wherever and whenever the need. Often harassed and moved on by police for the crime of feeding homeless and vulnerable folks for free thesevvolunteers persevere and serve as examples to us all that everyone has a human right to dignity, respect and a healthy meal. State and local governments in Australia try to hide the poor by banning food van charities from city's CBD areas and by actively seeking out, harassing and destroying people's accommodation, be it a tent, tarp or even bits of cardboard.
    I'm glad that there are folk who defy authority in order to provide to others with nothing to gain themselves. No funding, public recognition, nothing. Just pure generosity of spirit. Anarchy in action.
    Gassho
    Onka
    Sat today/expecting the hook from stage left.
    Food Not Bombs is wonderful! My local chapter has been very active during this virus crisis cooking and distributing meals. I am in a high risk population, so I can’t really get out and work with them. I did send them some grocery money though. I have great respect for them.
    Gassho,
    Krista
    st/lah

  32. #32
    Member Onka's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Rural Queensland, Australia
    Gassho
    Onka
    On Ka
    穏 火
    aka Anna Kissed.
    No Gods No Masters.
    Life is too serious to be taken seriously.

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