Can a $100 bill defy gravity? Because that is exactly what seems to have happened today.

I was walking home from work and had a C-note stuffed down into my coat pocket. I crossed that little plaza by Safeway and admired Margaret Leon’s strange and lovely sculpture.

Margaret Leon's "In the Treetop"

Shortly after I crossed to the other side of Broadway I felt (or heard?) the bill fall to the ground. It jumped up out of my pocket is the only way to describe it. I looked back and there it was on the ground. A woman was approaching. I couldn’t be sure if she saw the bill, but I reached back and picked it up, saying, “Phew. That was a close one.”

The woman was catching up with me. “Maybe a wallet would help,” she suggested. “Or a money clip.” I laughed. “Yeah, maybe.”

She was at my side and looked right into me with clear gray-blue eyes. “It looks like you’re planting seeds for the money tree!” she said. I felt eerily unsettled, like I had been plopped into a movie scene but didn’t have a script. “I think maybe it was trying to get to you,” I wondered, but wasn’t sure if I said it out loud. “Well, that would be okay,” she said. “Because I’ve been chanting for money.”

“What do you mean?” I asked her. She explained that she was trying to gather funds “to make a difference in the world,” and that she had used Buddhist chanting in the past as a way to accomplish seemingly impossible tasks.

I held the bill out. “What would you say if I gave you this?” I asked her. She looked at it, then at me. “That’s a hundred dollars,” she said quietly. There was a long pause, and her eyes welled up with tears. “Well, I would be speechless. Just speechless.” I asked what she would do with the money and she told me she was trying to help her son with the rent. I put the bill in her hand and she squeezed her eyes shut. She put her bag down and opened her arms wide, wrapping me into a big hug.

“Is that what fell on the ground?” she asked. I said yes and she shook her head, smiling and keeping her eyes on mine the whole time. “I promise I will put it to good use.” We sat down on a bench to talk and I told her a little of my story. She said I could take her picture for the blog, although she didn’t like what the wind was doing to her hair.


She gave me another hug and another long look with those gray eyes. “You know now I’m going to have to tell my friends that chanting works,” she warned. I laughed and said that was fine.

After all, if a hundred dollar bill can jump out of a pocket just about anything seems possible.

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11 Responses to Linda’s Chanting

  1. Pru McDonald says:

    Wow! Absolutely amazing, Jill! There have been a few times in my life when unexplainable events occurred, and all one can do is accept that they happened, as I also accept your very mystical story. I truly feel
    that there is another world out there, that we know nothing of. The Universe is mysterious, and good. Pru

  2. Susan says:

    Well… lucky for Linda that you did not have a wallet or money clip!!! I’m continuously amazed how every encounter is just SO different…

  3. DJan says:

    Yes, it’s obvious that her chanting caused the bill to jump out of your pocket so the whole exchange could begin. And it doesn’t end with your post, but becomes part of my life, too. I also believe that these kinds of things happen because our guardian angels are busily working things out between us…

  4. Janet Jacobson says:

    I’m reading with my elbow resting on the table, chin resting in my hand, fingers pressed against my lips, head rocking left to right. Jill, I love you, what you’re doing, how you write, your snapshots, and all the friends sharing this. Thank you!

  5. Linda Christiansen says:

    First and foremost. Thank you, Lady / Jill….. ever so much !!! What fun. It is very very startling to have such an experience. It really does leave you stammering and at a loss for words!!
    Your story / version about our encounter is pretty much how I remember it. ! One thing I believe I said – after commenting to you about getting a wallet – was …. “ it looks like you’re planting seeds for the money tree”. (and, in light of what you are up to, is ……synchronistic.
    Yes. You are correct in saying that I’ve been chanting for money. And / but – it’s more than that. But for this note – that will suffice.
    I’ve recently started / restarted on a journey of redesigning my life – including to align with my values and to make greater contributions in the world. Don’t yet know all of what this will look like. And, like everyone I have my ‘circumstances’ (problems/ challenges ).
    On this – my journey –I have included two of the most important and incredible support systems I have ever encountered. Landmark education and Buddhism.
    Nichirin Shoshu Buddhism (SGI) (they chant Nam Myho Renge Kyo) – for the all-encompassing spirituality and wisdom and miracles; and more
    Landmark Education for the Powerful life breakthroughs, ideas, inspiration – with the amazing number of wonderful, human beings that are involved whether as seminar leaders, participants themselves and /or volunteers (participants frequently get so much value that they choose to volunteer to help our at some events).

    Jill / lady. Again. Thank you. If you ever want to join me at an event – Landmark or SGI – I would absolutely love it.
    My journey of course continues. Sometimes on the ocean of life – before we reach the shores of our destination – we start to see / experience… birds. Like – a heads up – you’re getting close. Keep on keeping on. Keep taking action. Well – $100 bill – land bird.
    Best! Linda

    • Jill Ginsberg says:

      Hi Linda! Thank you so much for writing! It is truly lovely to hear from you. I am so glad you reminded me about planting seeds for the money tree! How could I forget that? But I did. I went back and added it to our story. I know your journey will take you to amazing places. Please stay in touch! Warmest regards- Jill

  6. Lindsay Cobb says:

    This story made me cry- then reading what Linda had to say made me cry again! I think what you are doing is very special, you are such an amazing woman. More than giving people 100 dollars who can really use it, you are giving them hope in others. Thoughtful acts like yours are the ones that make life so rewarding.

  7. Jill Ginsberg says:

    Thank you, Lindsay! Thoughtful readers like you make the hard work of writing all worthwhile! Jill

  8. andrea gehrke says:

    This is like a movie, only it is our privelege to be a part of your unfolding story. That cnote had someone else’s fingers on it too. Because its falling out of pocket enabled this special encounter. I also loved hearing what Linda had to say. This is just so soul warming in myriad ways. Sometimes I feel rudderless in knowing exactly what I believe, but your stories reveal that we all have a light inside of us, which must surely reflect a higher power. Thank you again, Jill

  9. Elaine Lindberg says:

    What a great way to share the wonders of every day life; e.g., life every day! I’d love to hear the story of how this website came to be. And thanks for the gift from the Universe for my friend Linda.

    • Jill Ginsberg says:

      Elaine- Thank you for the comment. I’m so glad I ran into Linda! To find out how this whole journey began: You can read the “About Me” page, or the Oregonian article on the “Press” page for some more background. You can go to the archives on the bottom right of the home page and click “September” or “October” to read the early posts. Best wishes- Jill

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