How to Gracefully Decline a Gift

Saturday, July 26, 2014

painting by Mari Shintani


"Be ye lamps unto yourselves

Be your own confidence
Hold to the truth within yourself
As to the only lamp..."


I sang this song with my Fifth Grade classes, a song based on Buddha's teachings during my years as a Waldorf Class Teacher.  As I prepared for the lessons that I would bring to my students, I was invariably drawn deep into each subject & fascinated to learn all that my research kept unfolding each time; such richness of studies!  


Introducing Buddha to my students during our Ancient India block was a heart opening gift for myself!  It opened up depths of understanding  & clarity of the teachings beyond what my family tradition, religion, & philosophy classes had been able to offer.   And it has helped remind me of my Truth, of the Light within, and to flex the muscle of inner strength & Self Love, what can keep your Lamp shining brighter when others might have you believe you are less than Magnificent.


This story illustrates it beautifully:


When a simpleton abused him, Lord Buddha listened to him in silence, but when the man had finished, the Buddha asked him, ‘Son, if a man declined to accept a present offered to him, to whom would it belong?’ The man answered ‘To him who offered it.’ ‘My son’, Buddha said, ‘I decline to accept your abuse. Keep it for yourself.’ 


So, if you find yourself in the midst of drama & egoic storms of others,' hold to your truth' & peaceful center -- and  gracefully remain the 'eye of the storm'...



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