Aloha, Noah Markus checking in from Maui again.
The retreat kicked into full gear today with a morning of dharma talks, an afternoon workshop, and an evening of Krishna Das still to come. Let’s get right to the juicy stuff…
- Jack Kornfield and Trudy Goodman started the morning by reminding everyone to live with a heart as wide as the world.
- Jack shared a sentiment that was echoed by several teachers today, that if you have a generous thought come into your mind, you should do it if you’re able. Don’t question the thought too much.
- Trudy talked about how gratitude is deeply connected to generosity, and guided us through a wonderful practice on cultivating joy.
Emptiness of Self
- Next up was Ram Dass with Raghu Markus and Joseph Goldstein, who discussed the source of generosity.
- For Ram Dass, his feeling of generosity comes from his guru, Neem Karoli Baba, because he is a true source of unconditional love.
- For Joseph, generosity is about the Buddhist notion of emptiness, which really means emptiness of self, of ego. Emptiness is a quality of having freedom of our heart, and this allows true generosity to take place.
The World is Full of Jackets
- Sharon Salzberg and Joseph Goldstein ran the afternoon workshop, which reminded us that the great gift of mindfulness is in doing nothing, we become aware of everything.
- Sharon talked about how generosity is based on awareness, and also the need to take judgment out of the equation when it comes to generosity. She also told a great story about Krishna Das literally giving someone the jacket off his back because, to quote the man, “The world is full of jackets.”
- Joseph shared his practice of always following up on thoughts of generosity. Some of those thoughts are big and scary, but his mantra is, “In the practice of generosity, there’s nothing too small and nothing too big.”
Reflections on Generosity
I want to leave you with one of the more powerful practices we did today, a series of reflections from Jack Kornfield. Take a moment to contemplate each one:
- Reflect on a moment where someone was generous to you…
- Reflect on moment of your own generosity…
- Reflect on a moment when you were reluctant to be generous…
- Reflect on your own true nature and the abundance of generosity in your heart…
Aloha for now.
– Noah Markus
Noah Markus is a contributing writer for the Be Here Now Network. More blogs from Noah: Satsang: A Community of the Heart | Puppy Is My Guru