When I visited Thailand in 2005, I was mesmerized by the early morning alm’s rounds of the young buddhist monks. Alms is a process of giving and receiving- in a reciprocal energy exchange loop. The humility the young monks carried inside was matched by the lay people.
The monks had worked diligently at creating peace within and realizing their inherent formless nature. The lay people understood this and were grateful to receive the spiritual blessings. In exchange, the villagers gladly gave all they could- in food or money.
In America, if someone claims spiritual authority and we like them, we freely give them money. There are many deeply spiritual beings that do not publicize themselves or ask for money.
They do not wear robes or go into town in a formal way but daily offer blessings and yet we are too busy to realize it.
And then there are beautiful, heart-beings who come to us covertly, from the fringes of society, in the guise of homelessness or mental illness. In our culture, these heartful souls are mostly dismissed as annoying pests to be avoided at all costs. We seem to have lost our ability to recognize the heart qualities and formless aspect of reality which is alive inside these beautiful souls.
The formless gifts that are bestowed cannot be stopped by our avoidance tactics. These subtle, potent riches come our way each and every day whether one recognizes it or not. If we slow down, even stop, we would be in awe and feel honored to complete the energy loop by giving something tangible back to them: be it a sandwich, a dollar bill, some clothing or even a hug.
As we start to recognize the formless spirit reflected inside the heart, it will be impossible not to acknowledge the grace before our eyes in a way that is beneficial to all.