Posted by: Upāsaka | 04/21/2018

Making Offerings

Yesterday, as I pondered the teachings on dana parami, it occurred to me that the Tibetan practice of visualizing offerings of all the material things one holds dear can be quite a skillful way to practice letting go. I was further spurred on in this direction by a comment made by Ajahn Achalo in a Dhamma talk where he relayed that he tries to make it a regular practice to give away his favorite thing every so often. And, although I too have attempted to do something similar in the past, I feel that I still have far to go in this respect.

You see, I have undertaken to give whatever is asked of me (as long as it causes no harm) and I have also begun to take certain aspirations to give my merits, enjoyments and even this body away in the pursuit of liberation and freedom of suffering. If I want to be truly authentic then how can I assert such an intention and yet be unwilling to give away my skateboard or knife? Yes, as silly as it sounds, when I imagined giving away these things I was struck by the strength of my attachment. I realized instantly that this was exactly where I needed to work.

The practice of making mandala offerings is something I intend to investigate further but until then I hope to include a brief practice of mentally offering whatever it is I’m attached to in the hopes that, when and if the proper time arises, I will be able to give it away. The additional benefits of this practice is strengthening nekkhama parami and reducing attachment.


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