A theme of the talk was about de-conditioning our need to acquire material things or mental ideas and concepts. One attendee asked about his need to acquire so that he may give, thus focusing more on the giving than the receiving. The reply led into a brief description of one of the perfections of Vipassana practice, known as generosity. In this, giving is spoken of, and emphasizes that it is not what you give or how you give it, but rather with which heart you give. Is there an ulterior motive?
|Dimitri, aged 85!|
Do you seek a reward? Or are you giving from a place in your heart that is pure and generous? Also, objects given do not have comparable value and there are many reasons why one might give, but all are equal if given from a place of generosity.
Jock gave an example of this practice of generosity. He brought over a plate of white spaghetti to our wonderful neighbor, Dimitri. A little while later, Dimitri returned with a large potted magnolia tree, with one single bloom. Jock was surprised since his lone plate of spaghetti seemed to pale in comparison to this magnificent tree. Jock said, "I just wanted to get rid of the white spaghetti!" to which another attendee replied, "Maybe Dimitri hates magnolias!"