Ash Wednesday & Lent

Today is Ash Wednesday which marks the beginning of Lent. Common to many Christian traditions, Lent is a 40 day period of penance and preparation leading to up Easter. Practices included prayer, fasting and almsgiving. There is a deep meditation here about sacrifice and connectedness, about giving and giving up. For a thought-provoking Christian perspective, see Sister Joan Chittister’s book The Liturgical Year.
In his excellent book Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche addressed the notion up giving in a unique way. He was commenting on the Bodhisattva deed of generosity as practiced in Mahayana Buddhism. He said, what if generosity isn’t what we give, but what we give up. And what if what we give up is the basic criteria of demand that we place on every situation. What would happen? Where that demand used to be, there would be space, and in the space others would grow and flourish and live their lives.

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Amber Lotus Publishing is an independent publisher of mind body spirit themed calendars, greeting cards, journals, books, and wisdom decks. We create products that illuminate the sacred dimensions of everyday life — healthy lifestyles, mindfulness, and earth awareness. Sharing the diversity of world cultures and sacred traditions as well as the inspiration and beauty of the natural world is our passion.

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