This first Dharma talk during Ango was given by CB on the topic of generosity, the Paramita dana.
She talked to two main points: the ways in which we can manifest generosity and how we must cultivate a peace that we carry within us. Towards the end of the second period of zazen she asked to consider what we could do to project generosity there, upon the cushion, without speech or movement.
Metta came to my mind immediately, projecting loving-kindness and opening the heart. This called to mind to me the difficulty I have offering that back to myself. I thought about my pain, how I just work around it, let it be this dull, background noise accompanying the humming and drumming of my daily life. The physical pain particularly, but the emotional pain as well.
It had been a long day. The chair made me ache at the restaurant where we met to discuss the fund raising dinner around CB's new book, Mindful Eating. My stomach was a little upset and my back and hips ached, a spot in my right quadratus lumborum particularly so. Really, I just hoped the bell would ring soon so I could stretch out.
I took a moment and just thought about compassion for that spot that ached. I offered some sympathy to myself for the constant pain-noise, always somewhere in the back or hips. I acknowledged that it is tiring and hard to manage chronic pain. I didn't feel sorry for myself, just recognized the effort. Just focused on trying to be generous to myself.
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