This presentation was given on July 1st at the Leeds Sangha Day. There was an offering ceremony just before this talk, when those present passed around food and other items in a circle. The celebrant blessed each offering when it returned to the altar. Later the items were parcelled up and given to the monks who were there. For me, that ceremony is an example of circulating spiritual merit. Such merit is ‘generated’, best one can say, through action. I go into this during the presentation, however there is much more to say on the subject.
Remembering Glenda who wrote an email months ago asking about retaining items given to her and where sentimentality comes in, and do we have a ‘duty’ to keep items given to us. I’d say, if there is a use for them, use them and if they could be used by somebody else, pass on. Charity shops are full of such interesting things. The dilemma is, to keep out of sentimental attachment or pass on. I’d say ‘when the time is right’, pass on. That time might not come for a long time or it could be right now.
We all, no doubt, become sentimentally attached: to people, to things, to places, to memories. Attachment and detachments flow together throughout our whole lives. A quote from Dōgen’s teaching that I can’t find….
I’m finding it hard to let go of the ‘Saidō original’ head torch…..