I am still in India this week, although I have to admit I haven’t been exploring the local sites, but instead enjoying the delights of this five star hotel. My excuse is how ill I was last year after my India trip. This year I am hermetically sealed in this mosquito and stomach bug free environment – except when I go outdoors to the pool! The air quality is hazardous and there is a thick smog over central Delhi, that does not look at all inviting.
One of the practices we learned here was the Mandala offering practice, which among other benefits, helps to generate generosity.
There has been a lot of generosity shown here this week. Many people have shared their cushions towards the front, swapping seats with those who are further back. I found myself curiously attached to my cushion, located towards the front, with a great view and with a comfortably familiar group of friends around. Fortunately, all my friends were happy with their seats!
One morning my neighbour (sitting on next cushion to me) arrived wearing a beautiful embroidered turquoise top and so I commented how lovely the colour was on her. So she said that I must have the top, took it off then and there and gave it to me! After initially protesting that I couldn’t take it, I accepted it with good grace, appreciating the unconditional generosity with which it was given and have worn it a few times!
Then another of our friends picked up a lovely turquoise top for Kathy when out shopping and wouldn’t take anything for it.
It can feel good to be generous, to give what we can to others, whether material goods, time or care. We can have a go at practicing giving generously and noticing what it is like: any thoughts, emotions or sensations? We can notice any ease with giving or any resistance. We can practice working our edge by giving a little more than we are comfortable with and see how that is.
For us to be generous, someone else has to accept our generosity. In this we can see how accepting an act of generosity from another is in itself an act of kindness. So we can be curious about this as well. How easy is it for us to accept generosity from another? Do we then feel beholden in some way? Are we looking for ways to repay the generosity or can we accept it unconditionally.
So have a go at giving this week and if someone gives you something wonderful, like the shirt off their back, have a go at accepting appreciatively and with thanks.
I hope you have a happy time giving and receiving!
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