A Gift From Buddha

Heather Friedman

San Diego, United States

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Real Food For Thought…Please Take a Moment to Read:
Today, 02.24.2013, I had a very humbling and touching experience.
A few blocks from, my house, is the Vietnamese Buddhist Temple.
February is the New Year…..year of the snake.
I was driving past the temple a few hours ago, and I noticed the monks were walking in a procession. So, I turned the car around …a fast U-turn! and went back home for my camera. When I returned, the procession had ended, so I just decided to photograph some of the surroundings.
People were coming and going , all nicely dressed, and there I was in my hanging-around-the-house clothes!
So I kept to myself, and after I finished with my few shots I turned to leave.
I heard a man call to me , and I turned around to see en elderly Vietnamese man telling me, in a few words of broken English, to go for food..and pointing to a space between the two buildings, where there were people in line. I explained that my money was in the car.. and he said . “no money..no money.. Buddha!”, and smiled and pointed again. He followed me to make sure I went to the right place…and said something to the lady giving out the boxed lunches,and she smiled at me and gave me what you see here in the photo. i put my hands together,bowed and said "Happy New Year*.
I was so humbled and touched by the way I was accepted, and urged to share in Buddha’ gifts.
I was the only Caucasian there, and the only one poorly dressed . or so I felt.
When I got back to my car.. I actually shed tears…how kind these Buddhists were… how accepting.. how welcoming, how warm.
Again I ask…. why can’t all the people of the world respect each other, and truly care about each other?
I have been asking this question since I was fourteen years of age.. and here I am now, at age….well let’s just say a lot older…. still waiting for the answer… still waiting for peace among all people….

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