38 votes

If you love someone, what is the greatest gift you can give them?

Thich Nhat Hahn was in Boston this past Sunday. He was here for a sitting meditation in Copley Square, in front of Trinity Church, across the street from the Boston Public Library, and just a few hundred yards from the infamous site of the Marathon bombings. The John Hancock building towered next to us, reflecting his figure and the image of the Trinity Church.

In was an incredible experience, sitting silently in the sun, silent and present among a sea of thousands of others, as the city went bustling on around us.

The Reverend Dr. William Rich of the Trinity Church introduced him. He was already sitting silently on the stage, and after we was introduced, he remained silent. Sitting. Present.

After fifteen minutes of sitting, he began guiding our meditation. Reminding us to focus on our breath. To breath in. Feel the breath. Breath out. Feel the breath. To experience ourselves directly.

Later, he asked a question: If you love someone, what is the greatest gift you can give them?

I thought about it for a while. I didn't know. There are so many things you want to give to the ones you love the most.

The greatest gift, he said. The greatest gift you can give them is your presence.

Just to be with the ones you love is the greatest gift.

But in order for you to offer your presence, you have to be present yourself. This is the point of mindfulness meditation. Learning to be present. To be here now, as Ram Dass put it.

Because what good is it to be physically present if your mind is elsewhere - lost in worry over the future, or mired in regret over the past?

Be present, first with yourself. Center yourself. Become acquainted with your own monkey mind. Understand your own suffering first, and then you can understand the suffering of others, especially the suffering of your loved ones.

When you can be present with yourself, you can offer your presence to others.

“Training is needed in order to love properly; and to be able to give happiness and joy, you must practice deep looking directed toward the person you love. Because if you do not understand this person, you cannot love properly. Understanding is the essence of love.”

-Thich Nhat Hanh, True Love: A Practice for Awakening the Heart

It was a lovely afternoon, one that I've been wanting to share with you.

Love,
Michael




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ecorob's picture

Wow!

That's really cool. It would have been so excellent to be there.

its 'cos I owe ya, my young friend...
Rockin' the FREE world in Tennessee since 1957!
9/11 Truth.

True Wisdom

if you have it

After reading this I was reminded of

that scene in The Breakfast Club, where Estevez asks Sheedy what her parents did to her and she replies, "They ignore me."
Nisargadatta said that we all love ourselves even if we don't think we do because we always want the best for ourselves; we want to be happy, kind, giving, loving - even if we fail at it. When things don't go our way we get frustrated or sad or whatever because we love ourselves.
I remember meeting Twyla Nitch and she said we can show love by 'making our eyes sparkle', that by exuding love through our eyes, by giving it away, we grow more love inside - that love was the only feeling that grew the more we gave it away.

If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.
James Madison

Michael Nystrom's picture

Nice. I like that

I remember meeting Twyla Nitch and she said we can show love by 'making our eyes sparkle', that by exuding love through our eyes, by giving it away, we grow more love inside - that love was the only feeling that grew the more we gave it away.

That is definitely true.

All art is only done by the individual. The individual is all you ever have, and all schools only serve to classify their members as failures. E.H.

Interesting question

first we must ask what love is. I actually wrote an ebook called what the Bible says about dating, and the first chapter deals with what is love according to the Bible http://www.amazon.com/What-Bible-About-Dating-ebook/dp/B00EP... You can look inside to see what The bible says about love cause amazon lets you read the first chapter for free. Interestingly enough the Bible says the first two greatest laws are loving God and loving your neighbor. the first chapter is about 12 pages long.
For those who have been around a while, yes I had someone edit it for me cause I recognize that I normally have poor grammar.

Jan Helfeld's picture

Love,wisdom and money.

The greatest gifts: Love,wisdom and money.

Jan Helfeld

The greatest gift that you can those you love...

...is the freedom to be (or become) themselves, fully-realized.

God's greatest gift to all of us was free will, and God is love. The man who would take that gift away aspires not to become God, but His antithesis.

God is Love

and Love is in fact God.

Evereything was created by God's hand.
The entire Universe.
We are all the children -- brothers and sisters.
Life is sacred.
All life is sacred.

Wars are the ultimate sin against God.

Weapons trade is the ultimate sin against God.

LL on Twitter: http://twitter.com/LibertyPoet
sometimes LL can suck & sometimes LL rocks!
http://www.dailypaul.com/203008/south-carolina-battle-of-cow...
Love won! Deliverance from Tyranny is on the way! Col. 2:13-15

lunch time bump

for Peace.

LL on Twitter: http://twitter.com/LibertyPoet
sometimes LL can suck & sometimes LL rocks!
http://www.dailypaul.com/203008/south-carolina-battle-of-cow...
Love won! Deliverance from Tyranny is on the way! Col. 2:13-15

The greatest gift you can

The greatest gift you can give to someone is the knowledge of salvation through Jesus Christ. Our lives on this planet are nothing but a brief vapor trail in the vast length of time. 70 or 80 years are nothing compared to eternity. Accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior is the most important decision a human being can make. I want my loved ones to be with me in eternity.

You Beat me to it Sierra!

As soon as I read the topic header, that came to mind; there is no greater Truth, either.

________________________________
the lesser of two evils is still evil

Love isn't finding a perfect person

It's seeing an imperfect person perfectly.

His name is Edward Snowden

What is Capitalism?
http://youtu.be/yNF09pUPypw

Joke answer

Can't help posting a joke answer...but maybe it's no joke.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pj__xEPciYU

Maybe a serious answer later.

Understanding Love:

You must first love yourself before you can love anyone else.

Live in Liberty
Tom Rankin

+ 1

Tom Rankin this beer is to you!

LL on Twitter: http://twitter.com/LibertyPoet
sometimes LL can suck & sometimes LL rocks!
http://www.dailypaul.com/203008/south-carolina-battle-of-cow...
Love won! Deliverance from Tyranny is on the way! Col. 2:13-15

then I am on the right track....

I've been loving myself since I turned 13.

“With laws shall our land be built up, but with lawlessness laid waste.”
-Njal Thorgeirsson

No link? Love you, LL

Thanks for taking part of my tagline. It's fun to see this twice in a row! :)

Greater love has no man than this: That he lays his life down for his friends. John 15:13

"Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern." ~~C.S. Lewis
Love won! Deliverance from Tyranny is on the way! Col. 2:13-15

happy 'bird' here

I love seeing your tagline appear in every comment I post.
It just looks perfect... and educates many.

Have a wonderful Friday and the weekend!

LL on Twitter: http://twitter.com/LibertyPoet
sometimes LL can suck & sometimes LL rocks!
http://www.dailypaul.com/203008/south-carolina-battle-of-cow...
Love won! Deliverance from Tyranny is on the way! Col. 2:13-15

Love is patient, kind, it

Love is patient, kind, it does not envy or boast, it is not proud; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; its not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.

Fitting. :-)

That's my favorite part of the whole Bible. Thanks! :-)

The greatest gift.

A subscription to the Ron Paul Channel, of course!

Nice post, Michael :-)

2014 Liberty Candidate Thread: http://www.dailypaul.com/287246/2014-liberty-candidate-thread

2016 Potential Presidential Candidates: http://alturl.com/mt7tq

"What if the American people learn the truth" - Ron Paul

What a beautiful posting!

Thank you Michael.
Thank you so very much for improving my mood on this day.
So many beautiful vibrations.
You are such a beautiful Human Being Michael.

LL on Twitter: http://twitter.com/LibertyPoet
sometimes LL can suck & sometimes LL rocks!
http://www.dailypaul.com/203008/south-carolina-battle-of-cow...
Love won! Deliverance from Tyranny is on the way! Col. 2:13-15

acceptance

I am not sure if it's the greatest gift, but accepting someone without trying to change them or judge them is pretty damn cool.

EDIT: I think we shouldn't try too hard to simplify love into a pithy phrase or metaphor. Love is a complex emotion that is easy to feel and hard to explain.

“With laws shall our land be built up, but with lawlessness laid waste.”
-Njal Thorgeirsson

Respect

for there freedom of choice. I agree acceptance is pretty cool.

The creation, production and fair exchange of values is the business of evolving consciousness, love and life.--Craig Johnson

Good question

It is being responsible for myself. Take care of myself first so those who I love do not feel the need to do that for me.

For example "You make me so mad!" evokes a need for others to behave differently as not to "Make me mad" I must be responsible for my own feelings.

If I can do this then my relationships with others do not overwhelm them with my needs. Then I have something to give,

Responsibility is the foundation of freedom.

Quite the man.

During the war in Vietnam, he worked tirelessly for reconciliation between North and South Vietnam. When I read the question I was going to say Time, Presence could also be considered time. Giving your time to the ones you love is a great gift.

Thank you.

If I disappear from a discussion please forgive me. My 24-7 business requires me to split mid-sentence to serve them. I am not ducking out, I will be back later to catch up.

I agree..

it is very hard for me to be present. I catch myself wandering all the time when I am with my daughter. It makes me feel terrible when I realize she has been trying to get my attention and my mind is elsewhere.

I have never tried yoga but I did meditate a lot when I was younger. Its pretty incredible to silence your body and focus your mind. For me, I had a few intense experiences with meditation. One stands out the most. It happened nearly 20 years ago and I still remember it like it just happened.

Once I had fully relaxed my body and brain, all the fuzzy colors I was seeing swirling around started gathering in the center and an extremely vivid picture emerged in my mind. It was crystal clear and absolutely random. It was evening on a military base. I was crossing the street with a random kid that was holding a basket ball.

The image was so vivid and shocking that it shook me out of my meditation. I tried and tried to get back to that point and barely made it a couple more times, but never like that first time.

We have yet to understand how powerful our minds are.

Ive noticed your posts have been more spiritual in nature than years prior. Have you been searching or trying something new?

'Peace is a powerful message.' Ron Paul

Nice post

I miss hanging out at Copley Sq.

Bahston isn't my first choice (dirty NYC is #1) but I have alot of good memories of the city.
In '93 I had a meeting (more like a Papal audience) with Gate Keeper and Influence Peddler, Thomas (Rod Stewart) P. O'Neill III - former Lieutenant Governor. It was in that gold building - at the time it was Fleet Bank. He's an animal in private. 20 years ago he had a lot of testosterone. He wanted a huge retainer to help me with building a new stadium in Boston.


http://youtu.be/CYaD0ZgxCuA

Real Deal Right Here
“Give a man a gun, he can rob a bank. Give a man a central bank, and he can rob a country and the world.”
www.dailypaul.com/donate

Time and attention

We cherish our loved ones with our time and attention to them.
Our time and attention reveals and proves our love for them.

attention I agree. It's been said that attention IS the currency

in all relationships.

Aaron Russo, Nikola Tesla, Ron Paul, I'm jus' sayin'

I think it's credibility.

To let them know that you trust their view when you try to consider how to live your life.

"Home is where it's hardest."
-Tommy

OMG PANDAS!!! LOCK UP THE CHILDREN!!!
-me

Awesome post...

Speechless

____

"Take hold of the future or the future will take hold of you." -- Patrick Dixon

If you discovered this gift, could you then deny it

to someone you didn't claim to love?

"Home is where it's hardest."
-Tommy

OMG PANDAS!!! LOCK UP THE CHILDREN!!!
-me

A few words from a guy who new a thing or two about the power of

just being...

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[a] and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Matthew 5:43-48

Real Deal Right Here
“Give a man a gun, he can rob a bank. Give a man a central bank, and he can rob a country and the world.”
www.dailypaul.com/donate

Michael Nystrom's picture

Oh boy, that's a tough one, Chris

But I think the answer is yes.

Because you favor the ones you love, and that is who you want to be present with. That is just part of the nature of love.

But your time is limited. Can you be present with everyone.

Actually, I think there is a way, to be present simultaneously - with everyone who wants to join. I think it has been done before. Multiple times, in fact, by multiple people throughout history.

All art is only done by the individual. The individual is all you ever have, and all schools only serve to classify their members as failures. E.H.

Thank you, Michael.

What a lovely post you've given us. Thanks for being here for us!