Remembering Gratefulness and Generosity

Remembering Gratefulness and Generosity

“I thought the earth remembered me,

she took me back so tenderly,

arranging her dark skirts, her pockets

full of lichens and seeds.

I slept as never before, a stone on the river bed,

nothing between me and the white fire of the stars

but my thoughts and they floated light as moths

among the branches of the perfect trees.

All night I heard the small kingdoms

breathing around me, the insects,

and the birds who do their work in the darkness.

All night I rose and fell, as if in water,

grappling with a luminous doom. By morning

I had vanished at least a dozen times’

into something better.” 

Mary Oliver

When I take time to reflect on what makes me love life, what makes me want to keep on living, what engenders a passionate life force deep inside me, despite obstacles, I remember all that is appreciated and celebrated by so many at this time of year. And I learn yet again to bring forth the authentic linking and blessing all that I and all else are intertwined with.

How do we make contact with this fleeting and often ephemeral feeling of remembering to remember what enlivens us and touches our heart so deeply? How do we remember that a spacious connection can open wide enough inside us to include not only ourselves but others? That places of nature born and bred in her fertile, fecund generating mechanisms can also be included in our meditative appreciation. How do we reconnect with the rapture of interconnection, with the ways we can center ourselves in the web of life? 

I listened to a talk by Tara Brach and learned from her teaching that taking some quiet time to reflect on what we are grateful for, and then whispering it quietly and aloud makes us merge with the experience and embody it more fully. Once we’ve connected with this internally, she also suggests we take some action to showcase it in our life and share it with a part of our world, so that it can be known by others. Once we know and trust the truth of our thankfulness, we can speak of it to another or others, or shout it to the outside world. By expressing our sincerity out loud it makes it more real — just like the Velveteen Rabbit, and how it was only by being loved that he became real.

So when appreciation stirs your heart, and perhaps you feel yourself bursting at the seams from all the things you have been gifted, you can transform the experience again back into giving; which is really a two way street.

Take time this holiday season to pause and reflect, and to ask the soul of your heart to reveal its true desire. Perhaps confide this in another, intimately, perhaps with a glass of wine, a sip of tea, or maybe some melodic soothing music, so fires of this love are rekindled and go on to lighten and brighten the darkest and deepest time of year that is winter. This sharing is the real harvest, it contains the bounty of a life honestly lived.

 “ The Gift that Cannot Be Given. The Buddha taught ‘Kingly or Queenly Giving’ which means the best we have, instinctively and graciously, even if none remains for ourselves. We are only temporary caretakers of all that is provided; essentially we own nothing. As this understanding takes root in us, there is no getting, possessing, or giving; There is just the spaciousness that allows all things to remain in the natural flow of life.” Marcia Rose

In Loving Kindness,