When it comes to generosity it seems there’s always an internal battle going on in my mind. Why do I offer to do things? How much should I give? What are my real intentions? I can honestly say that I have never really been at peace with my relationship to gift. There are a great deal of entanglements here for me.
Dhamma is the second jewel, the second of the three refuges in Buddhist practice. When we take refuge in Dhamma, we seek and find safety in the truth of the way things actually are, everywhere, warts and all.
This week many of us will pause to participate in what we call “Thanksgiving,” for the blessings in our lives. There is a text called the “Mangala Sutta,” the Buddha’s discourse on Blessings. At the beginning of the sutta, he asks: “What is truly auspicious, truly a blessing?” His response (perhaps surprising) is how to craft an empowered life that is in harmony with, and supportive of, our deepest values. The thirty-eight enumerated blessings in the sutta remind us that we are a part of something greater than a small sense of self. Connected to all of life through integration of deep wisdom in our lives, we give and receive blessings.