Susan and Paul Mitchell donated and installed a new stove at the Abbey. We wrote to thank them and this was Susan’s reply:

We’re happy you like the stove-I’ve wanted to replace it for a long time, so it gives me a lot of pleasure to be able to offer it to you. Paul too was happy to make this gift, and it was lovely to be able to work on it together.

I remind myself the stove, the offering, those offered to, and the giver are all empty. It actually makes the happiness feel bigger. The sensation of giving without constraint loosens the strings of wanting something from the receivers, as well as using it to shore up my sense of self. It’s so interesting, isn’t it? In fleeting moments, I’m seeing glimmers of what really seems to be a clearer sense of reality-how things are and how they work.