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.
You know you’re depressed when it seems like nothing will ever change. You don’t have to live too long to know empirically this is not the case. Never has been, isn’t now and in all probability never will be. Life is change, dynamic, never still. “Something’s moving,” Einstein observed. He was thinking transcendentally. All are one. But it’s as accurate to say, “everything’s moving,” if less inclusive. From macro to micro changes only the view.
We have the uncanny knack of isolating one subject from another. We then engage selective memory, inject an overdose of emotion and soon do one of two things: implode or explode. To stay depressed, you have to work this model, and when you’ve got it all loaded up, you have to control yourself instead and do neither, neither implode nor explode, all at great psychological expense (neurosis, depression, etc.).
I feel everything. In the flow. What a flood. A tidal wave. The world and all her creatures feel. They lift me up and carry me. I let them. Resistance is futile. But here’s the disturbing thought : if I perceive it, I ought to be able to set it right.
Do I need to say that the worldwide emotional tsunami occurs as beyond my scope to transform? Be assured I have no illusions about it. But I do have a moral imperative.
I want to go somewhere there are no signs. That way I will have a break from reading… a bunch of redundant signs. It feels like realizing you’ve been walking in a circle. Nowadays, it doesn’t matter how far you go: in the end, you get nowhere. So in this time, I advise against travel.
Instead of going someplace in the physical world, go someplace in the spiritual world. This time is provided for you to grow spiritually.
There is nowhere to go. When there is nowhere to go, the wise stay where they are.
Namaste. This means the All in me greets the All in you. Its very useful to remind ourselves we are all connected, none superior and none inferior in the All of which we are a part. Lets talk about connecting with the zAll.
When you connect your consciousness with the consciousness of the All, the feeling of recognition and affinity is palpable, and the access to an unlimited source of inspiration and power is seductive. One could desire to retreat from the default world altogether, and simply enjoy the harmony and peace to the exclusion, as much as possible, of the default world. But the “permanent vacation” is what follows life. It doesn’t do as a replacement.
There is much here in the chaos of life that demands our attention. Indeed, requires our compassion. Mandates we engage with all of our exceptional capacities in not only resolving the causes as we are able, but also in reducing the attendant suffering and/or supporting healing of spirit and body of all living beings that suffer, for whatever reason.
All life is sentient. That is the least of it. This much should be obvious. Yet many many people fail to experience this. How can this be? They have the physical and mental equipment necessary. Yet they dump unwanted kittens into a potato sack and drop them in a lake, and walk away as if nothing much happened, and aren’t they good for getting rid of those unwanted kittens?
Indifference kills. I do not doubt indifference is a greater contributor to violence and unmitigated suffering than all the anger that ever was all together. Indifference, like boredom, is not a natural or healthy state.
For the rest of this day, a good practice would be to notice your own responses. What does your indifference show you? Use that.
Life requires my attention. To be continued.