I recently attended a silent retreat led by my teacher, with the theme, ‘Generosity’. To be honest, when I signed up for the retreat I wasn’t really interested in the theme, I just love being on a silent retreat with my teacher, as it is a great way to come up closer to my true self, and be with the good, the bad and the ugly of my experience. A real opportunity to experience being present with whatever arises.
This theme of generosity began to take a different shape as ‘droplets’ of it became interwoven into the threads of the retreat, each moment, hour and day, facilitating an opening to notice the complexity and enormity of it and how intrinsic it is in our daily lives. At the time, writing some notes about my experience enabled me to acknowledge someone created the ink and pen I wrote with, the paper bond into a note book, the table I leant on, the chair I sat on, the stitching on the material of the chair, the padding, the wooden frame, the tree that gave its trunk, the cup holding my tea, the water, the reservoir, the earth – all demonstrating ‘the dance of generosity’ – the gift; the giver; the receiver – all working in unison, on-going, continuous cycle, which we all tap into and out of at different times and stages, day by day, through out our lives.
During a period of silent walking meditation, my attention was drawn to a little budding plant, not because it was stunning to look at, but I was drawn to the noisy activity on it. I could hear the buzzing of several insects, it was so remarkable, I had to stop and check it out, and when I did, I encountered a wide variety of bees, buzzing merrily, ‘filling their boots’ with pollen. It was an incredible sight, it was generosity personified, the plant giving her nectar unconditionally, without prejudice or judgement, to all that wished to have it, yet in the act of giving, the plant received a continued life force – through giving the gift of nectar the plant continued her life cycle, and through receiving the bees continue theirs too. What a beautiful natural process, the flow of generosity, bountiful and free. Nature has this much to teach us and so much more, when we stop to listen and observe….