By Claudia Weeraperuma

I went in search of Liberation
And laboured long to rid myself of greed.
So when I saw the Buddha’s diamond throne
I wished to make an offering to this sacred stone.
But as I bowed and placed an orange on the spot
‘An unseen voice in me began to praise me for this trivial deed.
It said: “Two thousand years this fruit shall last.
Your saintliness is unsurpassed!
You’re reaching soon illumination!”
But easy I felt not.

A noisy mind is never light,
The heart contracts, the chest is tight.

Why am I ridiculously pinched and plagued by pride
Whenever I perform a so-called “selfless act”?
I’m never selfless, never free
From that corrupting whisperer in me
Who makes my offered orange mouldy grey and packed
With worms, inedible on every side.

How much easier it is to give to beggars poor!
With hungry hands they grab the things I offer.
They do not glance at me and see my smaller coffer.
They do not thank me even with a smile.
The poor are pride’s purgation,
Who’re puncturing my puffed-up ego for a while.
I’m humbled: such a sane situation!
For I am so refreshed and feel relaxed for sure.

When can I make an off’ring to a slab of stone
Without that old obnoxious liar voicing “I” and “mine”?
When will the day dawn of devotion deep
When giving shall take place with “I as giver” put to sleep?
Will I ever find that moment far removed from time
When the whirling Dhamma Wheel is known ?

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