Today’s Zen lesson is:
“It is better to give and receive.”</em. (Bernard Gunther)
Today, allow yourself to receive your giving
Ah, to receive the joy of giving. I like it. Not suggesting we get full of ourselves and proud of our giving. “Look what a good person I am, see how much I gave.” Like trying to buy your way into heaven! I think there’s a song about that. Well, it’s futile of course. We’re all familiar with what Jesus said about the rich man getting into heaven.
Giving “in order to” buy look good or stack up karmic credits! This is ego and it’s not going to buy you a ticket to paradise. It’s altogether worldly and really counter to spiritual growth. So, how to give properly, as a conscious part of spiritual practice?
well, first of all to renounce being ego-centric doesn’t mean to give up being rewarded for giving. It is loving to enjoy the good we do. If love is what motivates your giving, then love will come from it. If trying to display your goodness is what motivates you to give, then it’s ego and no good can come from it. The joy you feel ought to be for the benefit you have given to others. This joy is not ego, and your own spirituality is enhanced by it. In this kind of giving both the giver and the receiver are blessed.
This is today’s lesson from the Zen Living Year of Transformation program, which by the way is available for free download at Cheri Huber’s website. Or on the App Store as “Transform Your Life.” Every day you are offered a quote and an accompanying assignment, including a suggestion that you journal at day’s end about your experience doing the day’s assignment. Today’s quote and assignment for me is as follows:
“The habit of giving only enhances the desire to give.”
Today, look to see if you would like to enhance the desire to give and what you would like to give to accomplish that.
This is my every day, my ongoing inquiry. It is what I think about, what burns in my belly: how to be of service.
This coming Saturday is the Spring Psychic Fair at the Unity Church on 29th & Bernard St. On the South Hill. It’s one of my favorite things to do. I bring my Reiki table and spend the day giving Reiki treatments to all who come.
I’m hoping I’ll be able to do it this time. My recent knee surgery and my aching back are conspiring to saddle me with a good deal of discomfort right now. But it’s what I live for. It’s what I love. So I’ll probably talk Richard into driving me and hauling my table in and out, and I may bring a stool to lean on to save my screaming joints. But I can’t sit with the thought of not going.
It’s because I have, as I have always had “the heart of altruistic service.” The need, not just the desire to be of service to others.
The Dalai Lama preaches constantly on the need for people to learn compassion. Perhaps it is because I have suffered so much in life, and still continue to suffer a good deal of physical pain, that I am in my comfort zone with compassion. But I see that there is further to go, and we all need to go there together. I hope His Holiness is right that learning compassion will awaken in people the heart of altruistic service.
I do pray for this.