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The story of alms

"Everything goes around, comes around."

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Once upon a time, at a temple called Mercy, which was located on a mountaintop,

there lived two monks. One was named AWAKEN. The other was named HAZY.

At the beginning, they went out for alms every day.


Awaken went out alone later on.

Hazy found that he only had gone out for a day and could make a lot of alms easily.

Then, he used the alms to trade for the daily necessities.

Such as the rice and flour… these were enough for a couple of weeks at least.

He idled his time away in eating and sleeping in the temple.

Awaken advised him not to fiddle the time away and continued to the alms routine.

Hazy was annoyed. He said, ‘Why are we Buddhist so greedy?

The foods are enough for half a month. Why should I be occupied always?’

‘Junior fellow, why don’t you understand the groovy and the true essence of alms after all these years?’

said Awaken and murmured, ‘Namo Amitabha!’

Hazy replied ironically, ‘You go out with your bare hands at sunrise and return with the bare hands at sunset every day.

What have you got from alms, then?’

Awaken said, ‘All the almsgiving is turned into mercy.

The mercy grows from the heart. It will also deliver to every heart.’

Hazy was bewildered and said, ‘I don’t get it! I don’t get it!’


Subsequently, Hazy was bothered with the doles, which was become less and less.

One day of alms would only last for a few days now.

Awaken was the same as usual.

He was always content with smiles when he came back at dusk.

Hazy made a dig at Awaken, ‘Senior fellow, how much have you gained today?’

Awaken answered, ‘Yes, I’ve gained a lot today.’

Hazy wondered, ‘Where is it now?’

Awaken, ‘It remains in the heart. It remains on earth!’

Hazy still did not apprehend to what he had said.

He decided to go with Awaken for alms next day.

Awaken agreed.


Hazy took a big bag with him when they were about to set off that early morning.

Awaken told him to leave the bag behind.

Hazy asked the reason why.

Awaken said, ‘Your bag is only filled with the desires of greed.

If you carry it around, you will never make the best alms.’

Hazy confused, ‘So, where can we keep the alms?’

Awaken, ‘We will keep it in the heart. The heart can keep everything.’

Then, they set off.

Wherever they went, many people would recognize Awaken.

They greeted him passionately.

Sometimes, Awaken even did not speak a word.

They would voluntarily give the things to him.

Some said, ‘Thank you very much for your help! We were able to ride out the storm last time.

We will never forget your great kindness.’

They got more and more donations as they went on their way.

Hazy delighted and thought to himself, ‘Let’s see where can you keep all these things?’

At that time, a blacksmith carried a baby in his arms running from a distance.

He wailed and said that his son was suffered from a serious illness.

But, he was out of money to take him to a doctor.

Awaken offered the blacksmith all the donations.

They continued on their way.

Awaken only accepted a bit of food for themselves.

He kept sharing the doles with others whatever they were given.

He asked, ‘Hazy, what’ve you learned today?’

Hazy showed a bitter smile.

Awaken, ‘You only know the source of happiness. You never understand the sharing of happiness.

Let’s take a look at the world, it is so beautiful. The wind blowing and the rain falling,

the sunrise and the sunset, and the changing of four seasons are all like a circle.

If the people only enjoy a moment of pleasure, it will become a stagnant pool of water after a certain period of time.

The difference between you and me, you keep the alms into a bag of greed.

I keep the alms into the circle of hearts.

Eventually the kindness and love will pass around in the human heart.

Everything that goes around, comes around.

It is likened to the circle of life.’

Hazy lowered his head shamefully.




Everything that goes around, comes around.

The little alms are the best alms.

Don't let your life pass you by...

Be a Good Samaritan.


Written by Anonymous
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