In Zen, and in most sects of Buddhism in general. we make "sanpai" or three prostrations to the Buddha as a form of greeting. Sometimes it is done before very illustrious priest of high rank. One day during a conversation, my teacher said, "In my whole lifetime, only one person did "sanpai" to me." It is a kind of joke to mean that he is not an illustrious priest or very deserving. He went on to say that during a visit to India to view various important landmarks in the history of Buddhism, as he was boarding a bus, he noticed that a woman was on the ground crying and in such a terrible state.
He asked the bus driver and they said that someone had stolen this woman's prayer beads while she was visiting this holy site and she was so unhappy to lose them.
Without thinking it to be a big deal, the Bishop handed over his own beads to her and boarded the bus. He then noticed that there was a big commotion at the back of the bus and apparently the woman was in the middle of the road bowing and thanking him for the wonderful and unexpected gift.
What may be not much to you, can be very important to someone else. And what is very important to someone else, might not appear very important to yourself. We always have to think very carefully about everything we do and say. . . . . Although the Bishop was not so attached to his prayer beads, it was a great gift for this poor old woman whose name he had never even found out.