a bite or a banquet

January 14th, 2014

Pindapata – ALMS Companion from Edward A. Burger on Vimeo.

In a certain sense, you could say that Buddha was homeless. He made a home wherever he went. He and his disciples were itinerants, each possessing nothing but a robe and a bowl to beg for meals along the way. In some Buddhist countries today, this practice has been ritualized into a monastic tradition. Monks pass through the monastery gates each morning and into the “real” world where strangers fill their bowls with offerings. The lesson is not one of poverty or humility. The purpose is not to instill charity or even gratitude. Buddhist rituals have no secret or special meaning, except to point directly to the true nature of our minds.

Each of us walks along a path with no sign of where we’ve been, and no knowledge of where we’ll end up. The earth rises to meet the soles of our feet, and out of nowhere comes a gift to support and sustain our awareness, which is our life. Some days the gift is a bite, and some days it’s a banquet. Either way, it’s enough.

Meet me for a weekend of practice in Loveland, Ohio March 27-30.

Excerpted from the upcoming book Paradise in Plain Sight ©2014 by Karen Maezen Miller. Printed with permission of New World Library, Novato, CA. www.newworldlibrary.com


  1. beautiful video–it’s silent offerings and person to person giving is itself illuminating–deep into the heart. thank you for this, Maezen.

    Comment by daniel — January 14, 2014 @ 9:08 pm

  2. p.s. your “Cheerio Road” bowl implies all of the above!

    Comment by daniel — January 14, 2014 @ 9:10 pm

  3. At your table it’s “always” a banquet Karen and I am so happy to know that I can just show up. Thank you!

    Comment by Daisy Marshall — January 15, 2014 @ 7:15 pm

  4. In Indonesia, people always cook for at least one extra person so if someone unexpected shows up around dinnertime there is always enough to eat (my husbands father is originally from Indonesia).
    This morning I realised that sometimes I need to step into the unknown and new with the faith that “the earth will rise to meet the soles of my feet” as you so beautifully describe it. In my heart I could feel that things will be alright no matter what happens, nothing ventured nothing gained. Have a wonderful day, kind regards.

    Comment by SImone — January 16, 2014 @ 1:25 am

  5. Thank you for being a calming presence in my life.


    Comment by Brenda — February 5, 2014 @ 9:33 am

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