The Seven Stones Blog

#GivingTuesday

By Jen Cohen

Share with us how you celebrate #GivingTuesday

In our culture, giving often has an air of separation and distance embedded within it. When we give to organizations far-flung across the world, we give to people and places we have never been or will never meet and while that’s not bad, sometimes it perpetuates a kind of false separation among us.

One of the practices we have taken up at Seven Stones is giving away five percent of our top line revenue. We not only give to organizations that we believe are standing for a world that is both sustainable and bountiful for all beings, but we give to people. We give to people that we know. People that we care about. People in our extended family and extended community who need something or want something. We made this a practice in order to break down the walls of separation, in order to go from help to participation. To go from “charity” to a shared, bountiful future, with all of us together, walking home.

We have given money to neighbors to attend transformational workshops. We have given friends money for medical expenses. We have given adult children support for adventures and many more things. Sometimes people ask, and sometimes in our experiments, we have offered. All of it is risky in a culture of scarcity and separation where you are not supposed to need help and where receiving is filled with our sense of unworthiness. But these experiments drive all that to the surface, in a sense, and allow us to really look at the way we have been trained around our giving and receiving.

On our giving and receiving community workshop recently, someone said “there is no giver without a receiver.” It’s not possible to be a giver in absence of a receiver. How is it that we are always hoping somebody else is on the receiving end of our giving and we are not on the receiving end of their generosity and care and expression of community?

So, we invite you to participate in the ongoing reciprocity of life, the exchange that is happening all around us, the way that everything composts and goes back to earth, the way that our breath and every breath of every tree and plant is interwoven with one another.

Here are some of the organizations and communities we have given to. If you have an organization or cause that moves you, share in the comments below!

Organizations:

Friends and Family:

  • Trips to Europe
  • Sending elementary girls to cheerleading competition at Disney world
  • Supporting a dear life long friend in her retirement
  • Supporting teachers committed to teaching the Dharma
  • Supporting those with Medical Needs

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