"Be Reverent"
(From: Lama Surya Das - Awakening the Buddhist Heart)

10-23-02 Church Within SOW Seeds Service - Story #211

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Greetings my Dearest Sisters and Brothers, and welcome again to Church Within's Story of the Week ["SOW Seeds”].

This week's SOW Seeds Story, contributed by: Rev. Angus Bowen

Story of the Week
Be Reverent
(From: Lama Surya Das - Awakening the Buddhist Heart)

I live in the countryside, and often when I am out walking I am struck by the country practice of waving. Car after car passes me on the road; the occupants wave and smile. I wave and smile back.

Whether we think about it or not, this little practice of waving on a country road is a way of building spiritual connections and spreading love. Don't we feel good about the mini-relationships we build with our little waves? How nice and kind that family looked smiling at me. How lovely the kids in the station wagon seem with their faces pressed against the back window, waving and smiling. Even the family dog is waving his tail. We feel seen and acknowledged by these little rituals; we feel connected to our fellow travelers.

The great Indian sage Shantideva, whose name means "Gentle Master," lived in the 7th and 8th century, He spent his life teaching others how to see the equality of self and other, and to act from this belief. He said that if you raise even one hand in a gesture of reverence to anything or anyone, all the Buddhas clap, rejoice, and rain down blessings. Shantideva lived in a world where people regularly put two hands together and bowed. Yet he taught that even one hand could make a difference. In a practical sense, raising a hand in reverence means that we must put down our weapons. After all, it's difficult to harm or manipulate someone when you are bowing to them.

Think of this the next time you feel anger or enmity. Soften yourself by trying to experience a feeling, a glimmer, of reverence for the person who is arousing your ire. In this way we delight the ever-present Buddhas, the great accomplished Bodhisattvas -- all the immortals, saints, sages, and protectors of truth and Dharma.

The Prayer
Dear God,        
        You are present in the life of All beings whether They know it or not. Help me to See that... help me to Remember that... help me Always to Acknowledge that in my actions.

You ALL are Within the Infinitely Loving Embrace of our Universal Parent,

The Creator's Eternal Love to all of You,
Pastor Daniel

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