About a week ago, I received a phone call from an elderly man requesting a visit with me. He explained that he was very ill and lived an hour away from MDC. His caregivers were available to drive him to meet with me on Monday evening. I agreed to his request and canceled our weekly Amitabha practice.
When the 92 year old man arrived with his 3 caregivers, we sat in the shrine room and drank tea together. I sensed he was sad so I sat close to him and eventually, couldn’t help but embrace him. He immediately began to cry. He told me that he has two daughters that never visit and only call if they need or want something. He said he couldn’t help but cry when I hugged him because he could feel my compassion and knew that I didn’t want or expect anything in return. I gave him a mala and a photograph of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Later, he said that he used to be a student of Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche but stopped his practice. Only now, with death slowly approaching, did his mind turn back to the dharma, wanting desperately to meet another Tibetan lama before passing away. His caregivers helped him find me here in Pacific Grove.
I gave him a short blessing with my gau and he cried tears of joy. He decided to get a hotel for the night so he could see me again in the morning. When he arrived, he said he slept very well and felt better than he had in a long time. He was very grateful that he could connect with the dharma once again before passing away. He held my hands and told me that I am very special to him.
After my guests left, I reflected on this visit and meditated for awhile. There are so many different kinds of mental and physical suffering in the world. Most elderly, especially here in the US, suffer from loneliness and depression. I am really glad to have made a difference in someone’s life. As long as you can help just one person in need, any dharma activity is never wasted.
May all beings be happy. ?