What Am I ‘Really’ Offering Myself and Others? An Exploration of Dana

☀️ A few weeks ago at a party, I found myself very mindlessly opening my mouth and interrupting someone who was right in the middle of speaking. 

Thankfully, I was able to apologize, but my behavior felt so surprisingly unkind, ungenerous, and painful that it inspired me to dive even deeper into the profoundly important practice of dana, or generosity – which along with metta (or loving-kindness) is considered the very foundation of our practice.

The reason for this is that: our whole practice of dana essentially comes down to our practice of letting go, or non-clinging.  

And, our deepening wisdom of this non-clinging eventually brings us around full circle to our letting go of a sense of a solid, unchangeable, separate self, which as the teachings show us is the main cause or root of almost all of our suffering – when we are clinging so tightly to this sense of me, or mine, and believing that we are somehow separate. 

This month’s new talk, What Am I Really Offering Myself and Others? explores how we can use our mindfulness practice to become more kind and generous not only to others, but also to ourselves, by honestly revealing and investigating all the ways in which we might not be being as kind, or as generous as we may think. 

It includes a 10-minute meditation at the end. 

As always, I hope that it will serve. 

Also, just few quick important notes

1I won’t be offering the intensive Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) workshop again until 2025, and there are still just a few spots open in the upcoming series, offered Sept. 10 – Nov. 12 on Sunday afternoons in Winchester, VA. 

2) The new 5-day retreat on Oct. 5-9,LOVING YOURSELF: Nurturing the Heart Practices is now almost full! … I’m really excited about our new beautiful, secluded retreat center (Peterkin) in Romney, WV, and hope that you might join us for this.

3) I have a new weekly blog! I’ve been encouraged to start one of these (long overdue), and so have made a commitment to do so as a practice. Along with copies of the newsletter, it will include weekly dharma insights and meditation tips. I hope that it will serve! 

In the meantime, I hope you might join me soon!

With joy and kind wishes, ~ Shell