The ‘Wat Doi Saket project’ is proud to announce that Phra maha Ake will be contributing to the ATMA SEVA blog on a regular basis. Phra is the title given to monks and maha is the title given to monks that pass level three of Pali language. (phra+maha+ name) Phra maha Ake is 26 years old and lives in Wat Doi Saket temple. He recently completed his Bachelor of Humanities in English. He has been very active and involved with the ‘Wat Doi Saket project’ and has been a tremendous help with our ‘monk chat’ program. Phra maha Ake is an outstanding person with lots of wisdom and knowledge about Buddhism.
I hope that everyone enjoys his writings and that it may bring new perspectives and insights.
From ATMA SEVA, the ‘Wat Doi Saket project’, and me (David) – THANK YOU VERY MUCH PHRA MAHA AKE FOR ALL YOUR HELP!
Thai people have just been enjoying holidays over the Christmas and New Year season. Many people gave gifts and many received gifts. In Buddhism we believe that it is better give than to receive.
About giving, Buddha said to monks many many years ago, there are three factors for a giver. Here is a translation from the early writings:
Three factors of a giver? First, before giving, the giver is a glad one. Second, while making the giving, the giver is an admired man. Third, after giving, the giver is a happy one.
But we should not be too narrow in our interpretation of what should be given. Giving doesn’t necessarily refer to material ‘things’ like food or new mobile phone or fresh flowers or warm clothing for mountain children in the cold season. Of course, there is nothing wrong about giving such gifts when there is a need.
What is important, though, is not to ignore the importance of other ways of giving.
Giving can also be a smile to someone who appears worried or sad; and offer to help an elderly man cross a busy street; giving our time to visit a sick friend who is in the hospital; giving an invitation to a lonely person to come to have tea and a biscuit; picking up a dog that has been struck by a car and bringing that dog to a clinic.
There are so many ways we can give – not only to our loved ones, or to those who are in need,, but to our friends and to our community – indeed, to our Mother Earth.
Something to remember: When we give we also receive. We receive almost immediately some good and positive feelings – and also a sense of having made a difference. As the Lord Buddha taught, ‘The giver is the glad one; the giver is the admired one; the giver is the happy one’. Gladness, admiration, and happiness are in themselves gifts.
Phra maha Ake