Half a year ago, I noticed how Venerable Earnest would take extra care in her pre-meal offerings. Normally, offerings would come to an end as everyone call out Amitabha’s name at the sound of the cantor’s hand bell. But Venerable Earnest would have her palms together in devout prayers even after the trolleys roll out with portions of food. Sometimes, you couldn’t help but wonder if she’d go hungry by missing the trolley.

It’s been said that by making even the smallest bit of offering to your teacher, the merits you accumulate surpasses that made to the Buddhas of ten directions. Inspired by this teaching, Venerable Earnest has decided to dedicate her pre-meal offerings to her teacher. To her surprise, she found herself much closer to her teacher after a short while.

Recalling our everyday conversation and the way she’d brim with joy every time she thinks of her teacher, I realized that devotion is not something pretentious. If only you’d seen the way she’d yearned for her teacher’s guidance in times of need, you’d realize that this dedication is not something that can be easily changed even through time. Through her daily kind deed, Venerable Earnest has reminded me of my responsibilities as Buddha’s disciples. I shall not forget who my teacher is, nor should I forget my source of refuge.