As the journey unfolds I have been given plenty of opportunities to give in ways that fill a need for someone else, a golden opportunity to fill someone else’s tank, to illuminate another, to give freely of the EGO.
While lounging on the beach in Goa on beautiful sunny afternoon, I was greeted by this tiny child with a long sober face begging for money.
Giving can be a wonderful spiritual practice if it arises from the right place inside you. It can also be a strengthening of your ego, if it arises from a different place inside you.
As I write this post I know that my intention is to encourage the art of giving whenever the urge strikes you, not because you want to be recognized but because the urge inside of you comes from a deeper place.
The Law of Giving and Receiving, is based on the fact that everything in the universe operates through dynamic exchange. Every relationship is one of give and take because giving and receiving are different aspects of the flow of energy in the universe.
As this little girl stood beside my comfortable sun bed and stared at me with her long sober face, I wanted to engage with her, to talk to her, to get to know her and spend some time with her so I invited her to sit down beside me and offered her some food. Her expression changed immediately as she clamoured onto the sun bed beside me, under the umbrella and out of the hot sun and started conversing with me. Her english much better than my Hindu, we had enough for me to find out that she belonged to a family with seven children and that she was the middle child, she was on holidays from school and she was 10 years of age. She chatted away easily with me and we shared some moments where all the barriers were removed, she was who she was and I was who I was, two people who had come together on a beach in Goa sharing some conversation and a fruit salad.
When the fruit salad arrived, her eyes beamed and she took bite after bite of the delicious, succulent fruit. After each bite she took herself she kindly offered me a bite, I took each piece she offered and tossed it into my mouth, smiling at her. Sometimes sitting in silence just looking at one another as we shared some moments together, no conversation, just exchanging giggles and smiles as we shared the fruit.
After she had nearly finished the bowl of fruit a mother and young child came to stand in front of us begging for money to feed the small child, I shook my head feeling guilt and entitlement surge from within me, looking at the child beside me nibbling on the fruit in the bowl. The little girl beside me looked over to me and our eyes locked, suggesting she share with the small child, without hesitation she handed the bowl of fruit to the child resting in her mother’s arms and took off. The mother and child stood in front of me as the child gorged on the rest of the fruit, handed me back the bowl and carried on their way. The tiny sober faced child came back and sat with me again after they had left, taking my hand and holding it in hers not saying any words but so much communicated to one another in those precious moments.
We walked along the beach together side by side, occasionally looking over at one another, a bond had been formed through an act of giving, a tearing down barriers, an offering of sameness, an exchange of energy – giving.
Eckart Tollie sum’s up giving brilliantly, shared below.
There’s a self-image that some people need to feel that they are giving to others, and there’s this image of “I am giving”, that they are the “doer of good”, and you see yourself as sacrificing something when you give to another. It improves your ego, really. Ego is like an inner mirror, where you are not yourself – you have an image of yourself. You live through this mental image of yourself. This image of yourself is usually not satisfying, so every ego tries to improve the image of oneself, and it can do it in many ways. Then you have the image of me, the doer of the good deed, and that really strengthens the image.
But there is another way of giving – when the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. You don’t have the self image of yourself giving, but there is an outflow of energy in whatever form – and it’s not yours. You are not giving anything that is ‘yours’, because ultimately nothing is yours. You are giving energy, because that energy comes from the Source of all energy. All energy derives from one source. You allow yourself to be a vehicle through which this energy flows out into the world. Then the sense of “me the doer” isn’t there. The sense of “the poor person that I am helping” isn’t there either – these are concepts. It’s simply the process that happens through you. That is the non-egoic way to be of service and it can be a beautiful spiritual practice. Once you realize that you don’t own anything, ultimately, and the energy is not yours. It’s universal energy that comes through.
When you begin to live in that way, you are always in service to others. Even in ordinary situations that would not normally be recognized as service to others, because you recognize the ‘other’ in their essential Being, which is the greatest service that you can give somebody. The greatest service is to realize the essence, or the reality, of the other person. Everything else passes away, everything else is transitory. That recognition of the other as ‘God’, and as one with who you are, to see that – that is the greatest service you can give… it is the realization of who that person truly is beyond the form.
Although part of me feels like sharing this post might, to some, appear that my EGO is looking for recognition, I would strongly disagree and say this moment has been shared to illuminate the act of giving is simply an exchange of energy from the giver to the receiver and most powerful when the intention is pure and genuine without any need for recognition.
Thank you little girl for crossing my path and allowing me this beautiful exchange of energy.