My final summer reading was Buddha’s Daughters, a collection of teachings from women who are shaping Buddhism in the west. (In sweet synchronicity, I see the publication date is my birthday!) I didn’t quite finish, as by the September 2 due date there was a hold from another library patron. I did read enough to know that this, too, might need a home in my own library, though which book to relinquish to make space?
Blanche Hartman, in “Just to be Alive is Enough,” shared a teaching from Tara Tulku Rinpoche on gratitude and generosity. She relates a time when the teacher asked them:
“to think of everything that we thought was ours and to consider how it came to us. Our food, clothing, houses, books, tools, toys, health: anything we can think of comes to us through the kindness of others…Gratitude and generosity generate each other.” (123)
As I read this teaching, I was sitting in my “sanctuary” and paused to look around me. It was true. Everything in that room, on which my eyes rested, on which I rested, had come to me as a gift from the generosity of others. Absolutely everything. Then I looked beyond into the next room and found the same. And as I mentally reflected throughout each room in our home, I discovered much the same.
In that moment, my heart filled to overflow and came through my eyes.
I knew the truth of these words, “gratitude and generosity generate each other.”
Gratitude and generosity, the heart’s twin sisters.