Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Circle Of Gifts

I expect I have mentioned before that one of my favourite expressions in all the many things we chant is the line from the Full Moon Ceremony, 'to expound the dharma with this body is foremost'. I try to keep this as a guiding principle, not least because it de-emphasises the spoken or written word in favour of manifestation and action. I am also currently chewing on the third pure precept - I have taken to reciting these for myself at the end of morning service, in addition to the refuges at the beginning - 'I vow to live and be lived for the benefit of all beings'. There is something about the conjunction of active and passive verbs which is intriguing me.
Last night, after the Young Urban Zen meeting, one of my recent benefactors offered me another card, which offered kind words of support and encouragement. This person wrote of my 'greater intention of inviting everyone in, to share with others what has brought you great joy'. Noticing my response to what was written - happiness, relief, feeling energised - I wondered how much of it was just from having my ego being patted. My ego has certainly felt in need of such succour recently - and it has received it plentifully from many people. But I don't think that is the whole story here.  I have a mental picture of my ego struggling to find satisfaction in external things of late, such as spending time online trying to find something entertaining that would somehow be satisfying, knowing all the while that these are just dead ends. But the things in the past month which have been the most rewarding and fulfilling - the Young Urban Zen group, performing the wedding - have been occasions of just being present with people, where my ego isn't the driving force. It's me, but it's not really me, like I am turned inside out, just trying to recycle the joy I have got from practice for others. It can feel a little strange to think about it, and awkward to express, but since I keep connecting to that intention, and if others tell me it is of benefit, then I have the confidence and energy to keep doing it, and trust that the circle of gifts will continue.
A cursory search through old posts throws up this one on a similar topic, and coming from a similar place of suffering. Plus รงa change...

City Hall lights up the fog last night

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