An Insider's Look at Mormon Culture

Giving So It Doesn’t Hurt

Last Sunday at the Big Heart Zen CenterMinverva, the discussion leader, used Big Mind  techniques to facilitate a look at the “Giver” aspect of our personalities. Several of us were confused when she asked us to identify as the voice of the Giver disowned by the Self.

In Big Mind workshops, we usually identify a negative aspect our Self has disowned. Why would the Self disown the Giver? Everybody knows it’s more blessed to give than to receive.

We sat in silence for a few minutes. Finally, someone volunteered, “My Self disowns the Giver because it finds the Giver exhausting.”

Bingo. We could all relate to the fatigue of giving more than our strength allows. To the guilt from never feeling we’ve given enough. To the resentment of thinking our giving is unappreciated. To the neediness of giving with the expectation of receiving something in return—praise, gratitude, or just that warm, cozy feeling.

Then Minverva asked us to speak as the voice of the Giver fully owned and accepted by the Self. “How can the Giver, fully owned, help the Self?”

Another light switched on for me: When fully accepted by the Self, the Giver can give to others without being attached to the outcome. The Giver can give contentment to the Self—allowing the Self to give without the need of recognition or to feel she has solved every problem.

What  wonderful insight I received from Big Mind and the hour spent at the Big Heart Zen Center Sunday morning. My thanks to those who made it possible.

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