Whatever You Did for One

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’…’I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’ -Christian Bible Matthew 25

Before giving, glad;
while giving, the mind is bright & clear;
having given, one is gratified:
This is the consummation of the sacrifice.
Free of passion, free of aversion,
free of delusion, without fermentation:
the consummation of the field of the sacrifice,
one restrained, leading the holy life.
Having rinsed oneself,
having given with one’s own hands,
then — because of oneself,
because of the other
—  that is a sacrifice yielding great fruit.
Having given thus
— intelligent —
a person of conviction,
with awareness released,
— wise —
in a world of bliss
Dana Sutta: Giving

There are a couple of projects and their originators that I’d like to make mention of.

Soto Zen Buddhist priest, Jana Drakka, operates what is called a Zendo Without Walls. She runs meditation groups mainly for people living in single-room occupancy hotels and homeless people in San Francisco. Here is an article about her activities.

Zendo Without Walls

And here is her website:

Jana Drakka Community Services

In San Antonio Texas, Jon Clark conducts meditation practice at the local homeless shelter. He is a member of an Interfaith Ministry program. He keeps a blog of the group’s activities here:

Homeless Meditation Practitioners (HMP)

Maybe this kind of activity would be useful in your neighborhood or area. Maybe if there already is such a program available it could use some support. Maybe it’s a good idea to get out of one’s comfort zone once in a while. Maybe gratitude can be reciprocated.



Nathan at Dangerous Harvests has done a thoughtful followup to this piece:  Institutional Buddhist Priorities?


One comment on “Whatever You Did for One

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