The Gift, Zen/Tao Practice

We have a group from Still Mountain that meets twice a month and is reading books in one meeting and open to sharing Dharma experience in the second. Last night was the second variety and we spent time sharing and challenging our understanding.

At one point our Dharma sister Carol said that what she has become increasingly aware of is the power of sharing feelings and positive observations about others. I find that so important. That willingness to be transparent and share back what value we see in others. And, it’s a little risky because we aren’t used to having anyone but the very closest people do that, if we are fortunate.

I do so encourage that willingness to give what we see back. We can gift our observation and it costs nothing to do so. We simply give back to the person what already exists. We say, “This is the good of you I want to share.”

This has been a part of my practice for a couple of years. If I am here and aware I see so much that’s genuine and positive in people that I almost have to share it with them. That way they, and I, benefit. As Carol mentioned, it feels genuine and good to give a positive attribute back to someone who may appear as a complete stranger.

So speak your observations and truths back to family, friends, co-workers, and fellow students. Give back to that stranger in line or on the bus or plane. You may never see that person again and what a wonderful thing to do. We don’t need to think of complements for others, all we need to do is be there and observe. I have never met another person who didn’t have a genuine attribute that I could share.

I think we become more caring, genuine, and empathetic humans when we are willing to take this as a practice. Every time I reflect what’s good the world becomes softer and kinder.

Try it! Give some time and see what happens. I would love to hear back from you how this works in your life.


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