The Results of a Metta Practitioner
Story From Mae Chee Punnisa
Since 2009, Bhante Aggacitta has taught me the metta meditation. At that time, I was still a lay person. Family was against my becoming a nun. Bhante said: “Visualise all members of the family as well and happy, then radiate metta to them again and again for sometime” After three years, finally, all of them were agreeable to my becoming a nun.
During those years, I also had an encounter that saved my life, that serious car accident where the car was damaged beyond repair while my passenger and I were not hurt at all.
I find that the practice of metta meditation really benefits oneself as stated in the Metta Sutta.
With Metta (loving-kindness),
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It was an evening about 3 pm when we were on our way home. Me and my two sons. We have this small cafeteria close to our house and usually we stop by to pick up some snacks for tea in the evenings. My sons remained inside the rickshaw and I went inside the cafe. I saw this lady near the counter. I waited until she paid and I could see the staff behind the cashier whispering to each other. There were about 4 ladies along with the cashier. The customer walked past and as she was going she slowed down near the food on display. There was such longing inside her eyes. All the while when I ordered my stuff I continued to watch her. Her tea was brought and I was surprised because I was sure she was hungry. From the behaviour of the staff I could tell that she had no money to pay for food, probably she must have asked for some free food and got rejected and that she must be a very frequent “desperate” customer probably a nuisance by now.
I bought a chinese roll and went and gave it to her. She was a bit surprised and before she could say anything I smiled and said that it is from me and quickly went back to my place where I continued wait for my parcel. Her hands were shaking while she was eating. How hungry she must have been. “Will that be enough for her?” I asked myself. I went to her and asked. “Shall I bring another one ?” she didn’t even stop eating to speak to me and said with food in her mouth “If you can” very shyly, not meeting my eyes. So I gave her another one and all the while the staff very curiously were watching us.
This is a vegetarian cafe where I know the owner somewhat. She gives a lot of alms-giving to temples and does a lot of religious things and I was surprised to see when giving is not done when the needy comes and ask for it. Maybe she is not aware of it. I don’t know. But surely they can afford to share some free food to regular people who need it?
All the while when I went and walked to the car park she was watching me while she was eating. Smiling widely. I smiled back at her and when I got in my boys asked why face was so radiant. I told them what happened. They looked towards the cafe and saw her. They told me that they have seen her always on that road and that she is always in the same dress.
Editor’s Note: Give to all beings and all people without discrimination.
Several years ago, I was working with a client (I am a psychotherapist). He was a man in his late 50’s who was working with me around a number of issues including dealing with painful and debilitating headaches of an unknown medical origin. He had spent many days in pain and visiting various doctors, getting scanned, prodded and poked to try to discover the source of his pain. He was a man with a kind, gentle spirit who had come to the USA as an immigrant with very little money and had become quite successful, running a well known restaurant in the city.
He was in the process of looking for a new condo and had settled on a particular new condo tower. There were 2 units available, both on the same floor and same size, but one had a beautiful view of the city skyline and the other had a less spectacular view in the other direction, looking at the highway and a more industrial area. The one with the nice view was 1.2 million USD and the other one was 1.1 million USD, a difference of $100,000. He had settled on the one with the view, thinking that enjoying the view would be something nice if he was stuck at home with his headaches.
That week he read a small little story in the newspaper about a man and his family. The man was dying of liver failure and needed a transplant. There was a liver that was a perfect match, but because he was an immigrant and did not have adequate health insurance, the operation could not be done because the cost was $100,000 and his family was poor. The next day my client came in and told me that he had tracked down the author of the article and said that he wanted to donate to help the man get the transplant. The author was touched and said that they had received several calls and had received hundreds of dollars in donations. When asked how much he would like to give, my client said, “the whole thing”. He did not know this man, but it was clear to him that he could save a man’s life and impact an entire family for the cost of a view.
The reporter and others were shocked by his generosity. The reporter actually wanted to do a story about my client, but he wanted to donate anonymously. He was not looking for fame or a pat on the back, he just wanted to do what was right. Even as he was dealing with many of his own psychological and physical challenges, he could step outside of himself and recognize the world and the lives of others around him. He also reminded himself of who he is, one who values that his view of his values and of humanity more than the view out of his window. This client’s story has stayed with me in many ways and I often find myself thinking about the lives of others, when I get too stuck in my own suffering and current situation.
Editor’s note: Normally this website has personal stories. However, I personally requested this from my brother when I started this website. It is an amazing story and I remembered it from long ago. I hope you liked it too.