Give No Thought Of Receiving
by Brenda Shoshanna – New York City

chair against wall

There are so many ways we get trapped in life, take the bait. We all want so much from others, and when we give there’s always the thought of what will come back. This craving to get something in return actually hooks us in another direction and ruins the joy available in just giving with no thought of receiving anything back.

In Zen practice, we learn how not to take the bait! A wonderful description of this is a quote from Sawaki Roshi:

“Sit facing the wall without bait.”

Facing the wall, we face ourselves, stop the racing mind that is running everywhere, eager to be hooked in by one kind of bait or another.

It may even be said that Zen is the practice of taking ourselves and others off the hook. To be simply present and available to whatever comes, and to give what is needed unconditionally.

Another wonderful quote about this tells us, “Give no thought of receiving, and you cannot encompass the reward.”

The reward is the joy of giving itself, without wanting anything in return.

Try and see.

Brenda Eshin Shoshanna (212) 288-0028
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