We usually translate the Pali word metta as ‘loving-kindness,’ but it can equally be rendered as ‘well-wishing,’ or ‘benevolence.’ Whatever word you use, the way it manifests is the same — kind and caring wishes and actions toward living beings. Your metta is what we channel in making our offerings, year after year.
The boundless generosity of that metta can be beautifully astonishing. Yesterday night I received a Viber message from a Malaysian donor who has been collecting donations for the nunnery schools. She had already offered a big collection from her Malaysian community a month ago, but her message told me more had come in. It was an astonishing amount, from many people — I was momentarily speechless. So I will joyfully go to Shwe Oo Min to receive it, along with another big collection from Swedish friends, who every year for several years have done the same thing.
A lot of a little is a lot.
These two donations alone could pay about 108 teacher salaries for one month – and this is only a beginning since there have been so many other donors over the year. The metta really adds up! The generosity of heart that causes someone to offer, say, 20 Euro, joins a stream of energy of other donations, until our safe here is full and we can support to many people. So teachers can feed their families, students can learn, and the nuns who run the schools and monasteries can sleep at night — not to mention the many other people who receive out donations. So the benefits are many and far-reaching.
It doesn’t get a whole lot better than that!
It also brings joy to us — and we hope you, too.
In the Dhammapada, a beloved early Buddhist collection of verses, it says,
“Having done something meritorious,
Wish for it:
Merit piled up brings happiness.”
(DhP 118, Tr. Gil Fronsdal, Shambhala Publications 2005)
The world is messy right now and there sometimes feels like there is little we can do to alleviate the suffering on account of that. But wait. There is, and all of us together are doing it. So in this holiday season may your happiness pile up, reflecting on the boundlessness of heart that allows us, altogether, to share what we have with our brothers and sisters!
May you hear the echos of the “Sadhu, sadhu, Sadhu!” that acknowledge the merit of the offerings, as well as the metta blessings that are coming to you wherever you might be every single day from those this metta has touched.