Giving as a way of life

In this time between and among holidays from many traditions, one theme running through most of them is gratitude and giving. It’s what the universe does eternally and naturally. Trees bend low with ripened fruit; clouds hang down with gentle rain; noble people bow graciously. This is the way of generous things.

Not sure what to give?

from me to you - by massdistraction

The best thing to give
your enemy is forgiveness;
to an opponent, tolerance;
to a friend, your heart;
to your child, a good example;
to your father, deference;
to your mother, conduct that will make her proud of you;
to your self; respect;
to all men, charity.

Swami Sivananda

That’s a pretty complete shopping list.

If you want a simple example of the natural give and take of things, here’s something you can try in less than three minutes. Find a chair in a quiet place and sit comfortably. Feel your breath as it comes in and out, without force or effort. Consider that with each inward breath, you are bringing in oxygen. That oxygen is vitalizing your blood, circulating throughout your body to millions of cells. Just consider that, and see how natural it is to let in a breath. Then, consider that with each outward breath, you are relasing carbon dioxide and some other toxins your body doesn’t need. This, in turn, goes into the atmosphere to nourish trees and vegetation. As before, notice how effortless this is. Now, for the quick trial: try stopping this give and take, seeing how long you can avoid this process. One minute? 70 seconds? Two minutes? Well, whether you have the lungs of deep sea diver or not, the time any of us can go without breathing is very short. Also, it doesn’t feel as natural or easy. It’s the same way with giving and receiving; just let the flow keeping going, and try out some of the above gift ideas!

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