I write about Tonglen practice quite frequently. It is so illustrative of the beauty of the act of giving, opening ourselves to the chaos of the world and responding with the gift of compassion, whatever form that may mean.
The compassionate response is open to all the possibilities of the existing moment, no matter how long that may last. Compassion responds to need and is quite concrete in its content as well as its delivery.
We are told to give until it hurts, as if a stopping point is required. Yet, compassion is an easing of pain.
There are those who give little of the much
which they have – and they give it for
recognition and their hidden desire makes their gifts unwholesome.
And there are those who have little and give it all.
These are the believers in life and the bounty of life,
and their coffer is never empty.
The compassionate response arises out of the belief in abundance, “the bounty of life,” no matter what is being asked. It is only in lack that we hold back. And when we lack in belief, we lack in heart.
If we mine ourselves, we find our vein of riches runs deeper than we first thought.
Thanks to Caroline Johnson for this lovely reminder from Khalil Gibran.