Sunday, March 18, 2018
Fifth week of Lent, the season of generosity
Lent has been a time of penitence, of giving things up to make one more aware of our love of idols and our need to focus with intention on the path of the spirit.
Lent, is a season of remembrance of Jesus' forty days in the desert where He went in retreat to spend time with God prior to His trial and execution where He would demonstrate for all the world to see for thousands of years that the path of the spirit is to be valued above the path of the ego.
Jesus, after all, refused to sell His soul to the devil. What a guy! A true Super Hero who conquered His ego for the benefit of humanity.
What stands out as a possible lesson from this story is the tremendous generosity manifested by Jesus.
Lama Surya Das in his book, "Buddha Is As Buddha Does" describes the ten paramitas or tranformational practices of the Bodhisattva or seeker. The first paramitas that Lama Surya Das describes is generosity. Here is what Surya Das writes, "True generosity is giving everything you have to the moment, and is the way of nonattachment."
The core of the celebration of Lent is not deprivation and sacrifice but rather generosity which is a liberation from our attachments. It is a cleansing, a purification, which brings the joy of liberation and often a feeling of tremendous peace and joy.
The hallmark of a Lent, well celebrated, is the opening up of the heart and mind with the spirit of generosity, and generosity requires sharing and giving of what one has: time, talent, and treasure to the benefit of the world.