The Gift

“Everyone is gifted–but some people never open up their packages.”  This quote, attributed to everyone from Anonymous to the late great rocker Kurt Cobain, points to the truth that just by being given a body and senses, that just by being given this brief and precious life, we have a unique perspective to explore and share.  What does it take to open up this gift?  When the wild hermit Bahiya asked the Buddha for the key to inner freedom and true wisdom, the Buddha said:  “When seeing, just  see; when knowing, just know; when thinking, just think.”  If any of you happen to be in or near Westchester tomorrow, November 5, from 10 to 1 pm–OR on Tuesday evening, November 16, from 7 to 9:30 pm, a group of us will gather together to enjoy returning to our senses.   Our sensations and perceptions give rise to thoughts and sometimes real insights.    Long ago sights and smells and sounds can carry deep feelings and rich healing and transforming meanings. Sometimes they just need a bit of space to come through.

I’ve led similar groups before and it’s been a joy, like warming and cheering ourselves around a campfire. How good it can be to peel ourselves away from the computer and smart phone from time to time and plug in to the vast mysterious web of our own experience and our own stories.  No fee (though donations are welcome!) And, even more importantly, NO FEAR.  No one needs to read out loud to enjoy being together for a few hours, just seeing, listening, remembering, knowing what a gift it is to be alive.

Westchester Community College Center for the Arts, Westchester County Center, 196 Central Avenue, White Plains, NY 10606.  Call 914-606-7500 to reserve a seat for either session.

7 thoughts on “The Gift

  1. Dear Tracy,

    Thanks for this excellent post. Can we say that the gift is all about awakened self? An eye that has taste to see in depth and greater details with the feeling of unity consciousness.

    Kindest Regards,


  2. Hi Tracy

    What does it take to open up this gift? When the wild hermit Bahiya asked the Buddha for the key to inner freedom and true wisdom, the Buddha said: “When seeing, just see; when knowing, just know; when thinking, just think.”

    I remember once reading that depression was the normal result of the inability for one reason or another, to take in quality impressions.

    It seems that opening to impressions could be furthered by what you’ve suggested. The difficulty is allowing impartiality to replace our normal emotional defense mechanisms so as to receive rather impressions rther than imagine them.

    “Beauty always promises, but never gives anything….-” Simone Weil

    I remember battling this insight one evening until I realized that as soon as we interpret it, we devalue its impression. What delivers is what beauty masks.

    It became even more obvious when I began to compare it with the emotion of awe. Interpreting beauty flatters our ego, while the emotion of awe transcends ego defenses allowing us to directly receive impressions.

    As you suggest, we do have talents that can be built upon. Jesus parable of the talents explains how it differs within people and the need to expand rather than hide them.

    As you know, far easier said than done.

  3. Thanks Nick and Ron. As you said Nick (paraphrasing Jesus), We do all have talents that can be built up. It isn’t easy–but it can be an amazing journey.

  4. Tracy,
    I have never blogged before but am intrigued by this group since I’m a loyal Parabola reader for the last 30+ years. I don’t know how to get involved. The current issue on Beauty has profoundly affected me and I’d like to join the conversation.
    Bill B.

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