True charity is to give and immediately forget, or it is not an act of charity. No one in this world needs charity; it is we who need to give it. They (the beneficiaries) are manifestations of saints who have come to test our compassion, to see whether we can forsake our material assets, ability and time, and if we can help ourselves. Sometimes we do not treat ourselves well like when we are hungry, and we don't want to eat but prefer to wait just because we are lazy, don't want to prepare the meal, or have other things to do. Likewise, when we ignore others' suffering and fail to render charity, we are mistreating ourselves. Treating others badly is the same as treating ourselves badly. If we do not eat when we are hungry, but run around busy working instead, sooner or later our stomachs will go kaput. It is true that we need the brain and other parts of the body, but the stomach is ours too. Repeated abuse could lead to grave consequences. Similarly, at a particular moment in time, we may have no need for those who are destitute and miserable; they cannot help us when they are sick, but they are also one of us, fellow citizens of the Earth. If all sentient beings on Earth were happy and wealthy, would this not be a beautiful planet? When everyone is happy, we too will be happy.
Sometimes, a person in anguish can shake the cosmos. Are you aware of this? Of course not! There is a type of saint revered as the Pure Ocean Saints who provide special care for the grieving. For example, someone in the universe may be in deep anguish because he is being treated unfairly or badly, or he is ill. When he grieves, the whole universe shakes and our vibratory power is disrupted. Therefore, the Pure Ocean Saints handle and take care of the unfortunate, seeing to their needs and fulfilling their expectations. Otherwise, the vibrations of their hearts will grow as their anguish intensifies, and the whole universe will shake. Many things will be destroyed, we will feel unstable, the weather will change, and the climate will be in a mess. Farmers' harvests will be affected because rain and sunshine come at the wrong time, resulting in droughts and other natural disasters.
Therefore, we are taking care of ourselves when we take care of others. Because we do not understand this logic, we question why we should give charity to others, help our neighbors, or make people happy. It is all because we want to protect ourselves. When we help others to pursue spiritual practice, we are contributing to the peaceful atmosphere around us, and this is beneficial to our spiritual cultivation. Even if we are not that diligent in spiritual practice, we will still enjoy rapid progress because everyone is at peace in a stable and harmonious atmosphere.
Therefore, we do not practice alone; we should check whether our neighbors also want to practice spiritually. You may have observed that some people do not only practice spiritually but also encourage others to do the same. They find various ways to help other aspirants discover the Truth, and these people are happier. Look at your fellow practitioners, colleagues, neighbors or just any one. The more they help others, the more their hearts open up. They become increasingly relaxed, happy, and free from obstacles. This is the "way of a Saint". Instead of practicing alone, we should try all means to help others pursue spiritual practice, because we are helping ourselves by helping them. There is nothing great about helping others to practice spiritually, bringing people to listen to the Truth, or to see the Master. This is nothing to take pride in, because we are only helping ourselves.