Receiving Is Spiritual

The difference between a helping hand and an outstretched palm is a twist of the wrist.
— Laurence Leamer

"Receiving is much harder than giving. It can be emotionally risky; it requires opening up to a possibility or desire that may not be fulfilled. Giving is easy. Not only do you get to showcase your more saintly qualities, but also your ego enjoys the reward — the payoff of giving.

"Some time ago, when I was searching for ideas about the benefits of receiving, I read a short story about monks who were living in the Himalayas. These men, after years of monk training, were asked to go down into the streets and beg for alms. That was the whole story.

"Although this is not an unusual sight in countries where Buddhism is an integral part of the culture, I wondered what it would take to do this simple act here in the West. I thought about the homeless people in my country and how people turn their heads away so they don't have to see them. I thought about the shame that so many of the destitute feel and about the judgment that so many express when they witness it. When begging, one thing that is clear — there is no room for the ego. In fact, you'd have to put your ego to the side.

"The more I thought about this story, the more I thought of receiving as a spiritual act and of begging for alms as a declaration of unity — that the Giver and the Receiver are one — that we are all in this together.

"Have you experienced the pleasure of giving to a grateful recipient? Isn't it obvious in that moment that receiving and giving are flip sides of the same coin? Think of yourself as a monk with a bowl, ready to receive love, kindness, respect and affection. Think of your goal as that person who wants to honor you and give to you.

"Your goal has information for you. Your goal wants to help you. Your goal wants to be received. Will you put your ego to the side? Will you step outside of cultural rules and roles and your own misconceptions? Will you open your hands and turn your palms up?

"You are not doing this by yourself. All of the help, information and abundance in the universe cannot get through to you if you have a negative belief about receiving. Nothing can get through that distortion. That energy is strong! It is like an energy wave that pushes away the very thing that is trying to assist! Perhaps you know people who reject again and again offers of assistance, of love, of connection. Perhaps this is you.

"Help your goal and help yourself by seeing receiving as an act of generosity that demonstrates your wholeness and your connection with others."