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The goodness of people

There would be no Camino for this mendicant pilgrim without huge generosity and kindness from so many friends. The support from good people is a constant source of uplift and inspiration.

The daily alms round brings joy, every time people stop to greet me, offer money (politely refused with an explanation that I'm able to receive food only) and bring thoughtful offerings of healthy energising supplies.

There was the gentlemen who tried to give me money and, when he heard that I was collecting alms food, ushered me into the panateria/bakery and invited me to choose. "Más, más," he kept saying . . . "Have more, some more," then insisted I get cakes and a drink too. It made me laugh out loud. All afternoon I had a smile on my face and a glow of gratitude in the heart.

And Jorge the faith healer who came out of the supermarket in his work overalls, saw us and promptly gave us his lunch before heading back to buy more for himself. Then later that day, when we saw him again in the next town, invited us to stay overnight in his friendly shared apartment.

Jan who let me camp at the closed Alberque, made tea and offered hot showers . . .

Giulia and Flo who welcomed us in for breakfast, rescuing us from a downpour . . . and who later took us all the way inland to visit the very special Santo Toribio de Liébana monastery where the holy relic of the cross of Christ is kept (

. . . and then offered us a delicious restaurant meal . . .

Anna's warm Dutch hospitality . . .

The families, women, men offering so generously an abundance of good food . . .

Vicki's great kindness and support while she was with us . . . and Kim's . . .

And the great generosity of so many offerings of Dana for requisites of shelter, medicine and clothing as well as food . . .

May the blessings of all this goodness bring great fruits!

This is inevitable without wishing it to be so. As we chant in response to the meal offerings each day, the Buddha declared the results of generosity - happiness, long life, strength, beauty and good reputation.

As monastics we get to open up the field of generosity and see how truly abundant is the human capacity to help, share and offer kindness.

The goodness of people is the refuge of Sangha, blessing the world day after day.

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