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Generosity and Blessings

giving your hope and approval

I was listening to Jack Kornfield’s lecture on Generosity this morning. It is really beautiful and a great way to spend the morning. Hear it at http://diydharma.org/audio/by/artist/jack_kornfield

What struck me is his intimation that giving ones blessing to another is an act of generosity. All religions from Judaism to Islam, Christianity and all religions in between have their ideology surrounding blessings. But, in a purely secular approach a blessing can simply encompass generosity of giving one’s hope or approval to another.

This brings me to a story I read. There was once a wise woman traveling in the mountains who found a precious stone in a stream. The next day she met another traveler who was hungry, and she opened her bag to share her food. The hungry traveler saw the precious stone and asked if she might give it to him. She did so without hesitation. The traveler left, rejoicing in his good fortune. He knew the stone was worth enough to give him security for a lifetime. But only a few days later he came back to return the stone to the woman who had given it to him.

“I’ve been thinking,” he said, “I know how valuable the stone is, but I’m giving it back in the hope that you can give me something even more precious. I want you to give me what you have within you that enabled you to give me the stone.”

We live in a world filled with divisiveness and separation. We are being persuaded to look upon our differences as just that different instead of individualities. Today we can take a moment and celebrate a world of diversity and recognize each person individually without judgment. And while doing this perhaps we can be generous to ourselves with the blessing of unconditional approval.

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