العطاء

يقول الله عز وجل: “لَن تَنَالُوا الْبِرَّ حَتَّىٰ تُنفِقُوا مِمَّا تُحِبُّونَ”.
المعطي؛ اسم من أسماء الله الحسنى، ويروى أنّ رسول الله (ص) ما سأله أحد شيئًا إلّا وأعطاه.

للعطاء أنواع عدّة، ففي بعض الأحيان يكون المُعطَى علمًا أو مالًا أو جاهًا أو دمًا أو جهدًا أو وقتًا.  فالسلوك الإنساني والتعاطف مع الآخر وإعطائه الوقت لسماع شكواه ومساعدته هو عطاء سامٍ، ولو لم يتضمن منفعة مادية. فالابتسامة عطاء للآخرين وقد تتفوق في بعض الأحيان على العطاء المادي.

شاركْتُ في تحدي سكون وسلامالمتمثل بالتخلي كل يوم عن ثلاثة أشياء من خزانة ملابسنا لمدة اسبوع. في البداية كان سهلًا عليّ انتقاء الأشياء لأننا كنّا ننتقل من فصل إلى فصل. وبعد مرور حوالي الثلاثة أيام، أصبحت الخيارات ضئيلة وأصبح الموضوع أصعب. أخذ مني الانتقاء وقتًا أكثر ولكني أكملت التحدي. أحببت ذلك كثيرا وأتمنى أن ينتشر العطاء والسلام في مجتمعاتنا. 

تعلمت من هذا التحدي أهمية العطاء وهو ليس التبرع بمبلغ من المال أو إعطاء ما لا نحتاجه فقط، بل هو اقتناء ما نحتاجه والتبرع بما يزيد عن حاجتنا. كما أنّ له منفعة على الصعيد النفسي، فالعطاء يبعث المشاعر الإيجابية ويقلل من النزعات السلبية. أثبتت بعض الدراسات أنّ العطاء يعزز فرزهرمون “الإندورفينمما يؤدي إلى ارتفاع المزاج. فليس أفضل من أن تعطيَ شيئًا للآخر ومن دون انتظار أيّ مقابل.

إنّ العطاء يساعد على التمييز بين الأنانية ومحبة النفس. فالأنانية تتمثل بالإجحاف في العطاء بينما محبة النفس تتجلى بالرغبة في تطويرها والسعي إلى الكمال والعيش بوعي. والتطور وبلوغ الكمال يتعزز بالعطاء. فالذي يحب نفسه يعطي الآخرين وينشر المحبة في محيطه. لذا علينا تعزيز المبادرات التي تدعو إلى العطاء وتشجيعه وذكره خلال عملنا وخلال جلسات التأمل لنصل إلى عالم يملؤه التسامح والحب والخير والتعاون

يقول أبراهام لنكون: كلما تقدّم عمرك ستكتشف أنّ لديك يدان، واحدة لمساعدة نفسك، والأخرى لمساعدة الآخرينفلنمدد أيدينا للخير. وأختم بالقول أنّ تجربتي في هذه الحياة علمتني أن العطاء هو أجمل شيءٍ في الوجود.

What is Your Motive for Giving?

I read somewhere that ‘it is easier for smaller communities to live in peace and harmony than bigger communities.’ I cannot attest to the truism of this, but I know from personal experience that the less we have, the happier we become. It is normal to find people in my community giving to the poor and the needy. But is the motive of giving important?

What’s bad in the motive?

Growing up I knew it was nice to offer clothes and other items that I didn’t like or use anymore to the needy. I used to give to free up the space, to get new or trending items and replace the ones I had given out. Well, you may say: but what’s bad in that? Nothing actually, except for the motive. Motives help us analyse and evaluate the reason behind everything we do, why we do the things we do, and how they shape our actions. It took me a desire for inner peace and happiness to finally understand through the practice of mindfulness and meditation that the motives behind giving or sharing anything with anyone is what counts more than the mere act of giving. All motives stem from the mind ― good or bad ― as a result of what we feed our minds with daily and often unconsciously given that our lives are likened to our minds and often a reflection of each other. If we have thoughts of peace, simplicity, prosperity, harmony and love, it will be reflected in our lives by inner peace, less attachments, happiness, ability to manage stress and unconditional love for all living beings.

More space, easier to focus

Our ability to live happier lives doesn’t depend on how much we have or possess but on how well trained and cultured our minds are. You will agree that it is a way easier to manage a group of 10 people than a group of 100 people. Imagine then, if you are able to reduce all the thoughts in your mind and learn to focus on just one at a time, won’t that be awesome? That’s what I learned through the practice of mindfulness that changed my perspective about giving. My motive for giving had always been to create space to buy more but after training my mind to focus on one thought at a time I am now able to analyze my motives from different vantage points, clearly and more accurately. The more space we create in our lives and our thoughts, the easier it becomes to focus on the things that really matter to us with more clarity, focus and understanding.

Whoever wrote these words ‘it is easier for smaller communities to live in peace and harmony than bigger communities’ in my opinion translates to: it is easier to find focus, balance, harmony and peace by reducing the chaos in our minds and our lives.

You are just a click away from a life changing experience, learn more on how to simplify your life and find inner peace by visiting us  today.

Kick Consumerism, Give Peace

The way North Americans celebrate the holidays has inspired scrutiny for decades now, ever since big retailers realized they could capitalize on the tradition of holiday gift giving.

Ho-ho-ho, give us your money.

On a personal level, the holidays are a celebration of joy, abundance, and community. But the outer manifestation of all that? Shopping in busy stores where people shove, snark, and spend money like there’s no tomorrow. I’ve worked holiday retail for over a decade, and trust me, the whole thing is icky. There’s something incongruous between the reason we give gifts and the way we give gifts.

There are groups of consumerist rebels in North America who are taking the notion of holiday gift-giving into their own hands. We’ll call them the Do-it-Yourself Movement. In some cases they handmake their gifts, but to be a part of this movement one doesn’t need to be terribly crafty. Their goal is simple, instead of being enchanted by the festive promotional hype of big box stores, these people simply use creative means to get to the heart of the matter: What is the purpose of a gift?

When we push aside the glitzy, twinkling lights of holiday shopping, gift-giving at its core is an offering of peace and joy to someone we love. The problem comes when we get stuck in our heads. We panic. Maybe they won’t like just any gift, maybe they’ll only like the gadgets they have on their amazon wishlists or they’ve seen on TV.

A good gift is something that adds peace to life of the receiver. Here are a few creative ways to go about spreading peace this holiday season through the gifts you give.

 

Upcycle

 

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Sometimes the best gifts are the most unexpected. The kind that someone has thought about for months, carefully collecting all the materials and creating a gift with one person in mind.

To avoid the mayhem of giant craft stores, plan your DIY presents ahead of time and use materials from around the house. Even something as mundane as a glass jar or bottle can become a terrarium, lamp, or hummingbird feeder. Upcycling is not only fun, but it infuses everyday materials with a personalized creative edge.

Also, it’s simply good for the world. Who doesn’t like receiving a gift that was made just for them, and didn’t have to be mass produced by children in a sweatshop?

 

The Gift of Meditation

 

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Give someone you care about a gift certificate to a meditation class led by a local teacher. The gift of a meditation class is a way to quite literally gift peace.The benefits are far-reaching — both in terms of inner peace and in terms of being of benefit to the world.

Not only does a regular meditation practice help a student learn to let go of all the background noise one encounters in day-to-day life, but the community fostered in a meditation class is a gift in and of itself.

Remember. Sitting meditation isn’t everybody’s cup of tea. If the person you’re thinking of for this gift has trouble sitting for long periods of time, don’t forget that meditation takes many forms. Walking meditation, tai chi, yoga, and mindful breathing all have the same benefits.

 

The Gift of a Good Story

 

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In this technological age, people are becoming more and more adept at multitasking and skimming through huge amounts of data to glean important takeaways. Sounds like work, doesn’t it?

This holiday season, give your loved ones the gift of stories. Give them books.

Paper bound books, those low-tech Kindles of olde, give modern readers the rare opportunity to practice what’s called “deep reading.” If you’re not familiar with the term, that’s because there didn’t use to be a term for it; it was simply called “reading.” But our collective neural pathways seem to be changing to meet the needs of the technological age. There’s a real difference between how we read on paper and how we read on a screen. On a screen we flit from paragraph to paragraph in order to consume as much of the information as quickly as we can, but on paper we move down the page in a steady, linear way.

Books offer us relief from flitting. This focus lets a reader feel fully immersed in a world, in characters, and in new points of view. That’s the definition of compassion if I’ve ever heard it. Not bad for one measly Christmas gift.   

The anti-consumerist movement is not only great for the people who are receiving gifts this holiday season, but it’s got the fringe benefit of being awesome for gift-givers as well. By kicking the idea of the traditionally-hyped shopping season to the curb, buyers give themselves the gift of avoiding the madness of the retail holiday.

There’s nothing wrong with spending money on those you love, the focus is simply that it be spent mindfully in ways that support personal peace, local peace, and global peace. Happy holidays!