Buddha-Mettā UK

Buddha-Mettā UK
Puja (chanting and meditation) 5am & 7pm, Dana (meal offering) 10:30am.

02 August 2011

Alms Round in Northumberland

I have been doing as much walking as possible lately and decided to take a long walk to the nearest town about 6 miles away. I made a day of it and brought my alms bowl with me to experience the magic of collecting alms food in this country. Honestly, I didn't expect to be receive much and Haltwhistle is not exactly your biggest town in this rural countryside anyhow. I would have been happy with just being able to be there among the people, and the walk itself was beautiful. A lovely feature of the walk is the Lambley Viaduct which now stands as a monument to the mining era of the 1800's.

At first I was just walking slowly up and down the high street because I didn't want to feel like "one of those" beggars. It took about a half hour of watching my mind to start to understand that foremost, I was not any better or worse then a beggar who is hungry--and that there is actually nothing wrong with receiving alms. In fact I quickly developed a sense of admiration for them and so I found a suitable spot and stood my ground. Within minutes I was approached by interested people and so it was only my own ego that had been standing in the way.

To my surprise I was approached by many people, had a lovely meal, and walked back with a huge sense of gratitude and renewed faith in humanity. It also showed how many people are interested in Buddhism in this country. As Luangpoh says, "Mindlessness is famous". That is one thing this world can support.

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