Thursday, 13 May 2010

Gifts and Giving

In my home there are a number of treasured items, not in their monetary value, but in their intrinsic value. There are gifts that have been given to me at various times throughout my life, by a variety of people. I look at them and I remember them the moment I received them and the people who gave them to me.

I have a watch that was given to me by a dear old lady. It was her grandfathers watch, but she gave it to me she said because it had a big face and I would see it easier when I was preaching. Now I could easily have thought she was telling me my sermons were too long. I knew though that this was given in love, and I have cherished it and her memory so often.

I have a cross made from soldering metal. It ripples with light and creates its own colours. It weighs a great deal, but it makes my heart light as I remember the young man who made this as an apprentice piece. I felt so proud the day I was given it.

I have a wooden image of Lao Tzu, purchased at an antique fair in China. It was gifted to me by the students who I took on a trip to China. I remember them all with much fondness.

There is a lovely story of the two masters, Kabir and Kamal. Kabir refused to accept any gifts from his students. Kamal on the other hand never ever refused to accept them. This made Kabir sad. One day he took Kamal aside and said to him, “I do not accept any gift because gifts mean nothing to me. But it pains me to know that you grab all that your disciples bring to you."

Kamal said: "If gifts mean nothing to you, why are you bothered whether I accept them or reject them?" Here, Kabir had a 180º mind, and Kamal a 360º one.

To be able to accept a gift is often as difficult as it is to give one. A gift given has to be given for a reason and the reason has to be clear to the giver. The receiver of a gift has to reach into the thoughts of the giver so that they get not only the thing given but the gift itself.

Thanks to all of you who on your blogs shared a view of the gifts you made for the mothers you loved. You see the giving of a gift is not just a two way transaction it is 360º

This blog is linked to my other where I discuss the artwork used:- Loves Expression


  1. It is interesting and wonderful to note that the intrinsic value comes from the people who did the giving rather than something about the gift itself.

  2. My most valued 'gifts' are those given from the heart.
    My four and a half year old was in a frenzy to 'earn' money for mother's day; unknown to me. He finally extracted $2 from his dad. On mother's day the proudly bounced out of his room with a green vase. I made such a fuss...didn't I get an identical blue one the next year. And a plastic mountie on horse from my other son a few years later...a mountie being his ultimate treasure. And a frog in a pond from my daughter...she loved frogs.
    I smile every time I remember .... they gave to me what they thought was the ultimate. Little did they know their love was the greatest of all!

  3. Good Morning Ralph, I am alive and well. Having Cancer is like Christmas every day. I have never recieved so many gifts, and from all over the world! I have been given a real Cherokee Indian Talisman, a collection of power-enhanced stones and bones and feathers! Paintings created while thinking of me, wonderful photographs of beautiful places still left on this wonderful planet, and many others! I am so humbled by this and the fact that these people are giving me time out of their lives. These gifts are full of powerful energy and well wishes and makes this whole process easier.

  4. In refusing gifts from his students, Kabir was denying them the pleasure of giving which made him a very selfish man.

  5. Jerry you deserve every one of them. My gift to you is that you are always in my thoughts hope that makes sense.

  6. i read an exercise in receiving i found helpful...hold an object you received in your hands and notice the feelings that arise, whether negative (undeserving, etc) or positive...then say "Thank you, I receive this" until you feel has helped me receive (maybe we can do this with our lovely friends who so kindly comment on our blogs! as you are so kind to share your thoughts on mine! tahnk you, i recieve it...

  7. It sounds like you are a gracious giver and receiver of gifts. That's lovely!

  8. But doesnt a gift given with a motive differ from a gift given just out of love...

  9. I certainly view your blog as a gift, Ralph!