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Volume 6 no 4

From The Editor

The more we give, the richer we become

My brother told me this story. It was the mid-autumn festival (moon cake festival). A traveller was passing through town and decided to pay his long time friend a visit. Unfortunately, his friend was not in. His young son received him and since it was the mid-autumn festival, he told the young man, "What a pity, I was looking forward to enjoying the full moon with him. I shall have to leave, but I would like to present him with a moon cake."

He picked up a stick and drew a moon cake on the ground and said, "Here, tell your father it's from me."

The young boy was quick too; he drew a moon cake several times bigger and said, "Thank you very much, sir. Please accept my father's gift in return."

With that the man broke into laughter, and they bade each other farewell. The next day when the father returned, his son told him about his friend and proudly showed him the two moon cakes still on the ground. His father was not very happy with what he saw, "Why did you have to draw such a big one? Look, he only drew a small one!"

The Six Paramita's in Buddhism describe the 6 practices that can ferry people from the sea of suffering to the shore of enlightenment. The first of these is the practice of Giving. (The others are 1. Observing the Precepts, 2. Patience, 3. Zeal and Progress, 4. Meditation, and 5. Wisdom.) Considering how much pains and sufferings people often have to go through to fulfil their desires, protect their possessions and then parting with them eventually, it is perhaps easy to appreciate why being able to give, to part with what we have, is so powerful that it can ferry us to the shore of enlightenment.

A moon cake drawn on the ground, does its size really matter? Being able to give is a state of the mind. Material things are not the only forms of giving. It includes the giving of Dharma, fearlessness, courage, smile, greetings, kindness, cheerfulness, non-hindrance and praise.

Indeed, it is such an important practice that we like to focus this issue on what we need to know about giving. Giving is the basis of our blessings, which is why the more we give, the richer we become.

Be with Buddha.


Copyright 2002.Jen Chen Buddhism Centre