Introduction to The Art of Giving

Teacher: Scott Walter, Sensei

The idea of The Art of Giving Series and the Principles that I developed and teach in this series is to offer an understanding in how we can better serve the Divine, ourselves and our worlds through the ways in which we give.

It is important to consider that there are many ways to define what is better, so I chose to offer a way that would include the increasing of any form of value. Now consider, if you will, that having a way to grow any particular value, in any moment to some degree, would be a worthy study and practice.

I wanted the principles to offer a way to grow any value forever and to be capable of following any chosen value to its source. I wanted the way to offer a realization of both the extrinsic and intrinsic aspects of the value and to offer a pathway to follow those aspects outwardly to their furthest most points of expression and inwardly to the deepest source of their impression.

I thought it would be best, if the method was to offer an improvement in anything, that the method should also apply to everything. So, I looked at everything and figured the most effective way to improve our relationship to everything and anything is to be able to improve our relationship to the source of a particular reason for being in any particular moment or any collection of moments that we are wanting to exercise ourselves in. I also felt that the way should be as normal as breathing, with its out and in breaths; as the heart with its out and in beats; as entering and exiting life through our incarnations and outcarnations; and that it should provide awareness at any step in the process of being, whether that was an ecstatic moment of jubilation, or the worst case scenario imaginable, or anywhere beyond or in between.

I felt this would allow someone to gain an understanding of any point in the unfoldment and refoldment of life.

Then I considered what would be a valuable thing to do with this way of being in the moment, so I thought about what the most valuable thing in the universe would be and I aimed the practice at serving that value in some form; and that meant that it would include serving some form of that value in what we give, and being in some service to that value according to the nature of our giving.

I then reasoned that if we focused on taking those values, we would potentially need a universe to store what we have taken, so it made more sense to be giving those values and in that way, the givings should be based on the use. I could see that if the values were truly needed, it would be a truly more valuable thing to give and that if we were to continue to grow the value of our givings, we could move through our moments more successfully.

I had noticed in my life how we are often unable to give what is needed. But if we can improve our way of giving by focusing on the values needed and by having a way of moving outwardly and inwardly, we should be able to, with practice, find ourselves in better alignment at any point we consider worthy of giving our time and efforts to support.

I also considered that everything has a general definition- or reason for being- and specific variations that need to be appreciated if we are going to more effectively aim our lives and givings. And these reasons have a reason behind them regarding how they came into being and that if we are to follow the more real reasons for needing to give and serve, we need to have a way of showing effective gratitude when these more inward values are presented. And we need a way of tracking inward on those values as far as we may find reason for, and we also need a way to track outwardly as far as a problem may extend.

So, this led me into treating various matters and also into treating the Divine, and I chose to focus the principles at a relative point in anything, where the practitioner could look and sense outward or inward, and that there would be a way to actually move and change more outwardly or inwardly according to any reason chosen. I also decided that any step outward or inward should be considered valuable, so I call those steps values. I feel those values need to be respected in order of how they relate to the reason, as that order is the way we move about successfully in reason.

As we respect those values that move us outward and inward, we can better choose how we give ourselves to those values and I find that we move through those values only when we can give them. I call the outward moving values appreciation values because they are growing as outward expressions of the reason for being. I call the inward moving values gratitude values because they are returning to the source as inward impressions of the reason for being.

I find that as we move outwardly we give our reason for being through more outward values and more external showings and as we move inwardly we give our reason for being through more inward values and more essential ways of being. I also find that our reasons improve and become clearer as we go to the more inward values of them and that they become confusing and disjointed as we go more outward. So I consider the inward direction more positive and the outward more negative relative to any point in the current position of the reason for being. The direction inward is toward the source of the reason and the direction outward is toward the matter of the reason.

There are values to be found all along the way between the source of a reason for being and the matters of that reason. So, it becomes reasonable to give of ourselves in ways that can improve our connection toward source and also in ways that can separate us from a more resourceful relationship to life, because we are often caught up in matters and we need to be able, through our givings, to better understand our positions. Being able to see the fulcrum point of any moment or reason, along with having a way to maneuver in and out, seems worthy of respect so I figured Respect should be a reasonable principle. Seeing how to increase any value would certainly make Appreciation a reasonable principle. Having Gratitude when the source of your own reason is better understood and supported seems reasonable. And being able to apply this to any Value is also reasonable to me.

So with proper use in these four fundamental principles, we are able to reason and understand better the many values in the reasons of how we give of our lives in any particular moment. In addition, we are also able through these principles, to move more effectively through the reasoning maze of the moment, and this can facilitate many things like understanding, healing, awareness, presence, inspiration, realization, application, and access to states of being in the potential that would otherwise be un-accessible. Having a better understanding of these principles makes an art of giving, so I call it the Art of Giving and the fundamental principles are Respect, Appreciation and Gratitude and Value.

I find that when these four principles are applied continuously, in the order I have listed, it offers a continuous movement through the inner and outer values of any given reason. By leaning on the Appreciation side, we are able to move continuously outward, growing our givings into our worlds while also developing a more inward sense of why. By leaning on the Gratitude side, we are able to move more continuously inward, developing our inner sense of being while also finding ways of living with that sense in our outer worlds.

Now there are more principles and understandings, many of which I teach, but these four are instrumental in learning how to manage the effectiveness of our reasons and values. We can overcome anger, we can engage more love, we can become more sincere, we can be more compassionate, we can be more forgiving, we can improve, we can help ourselves better and we can help others better. We can heal, we can journey into deeper Truths, we can walk more effectively in the outer world, we can even make mistakes. We can learn and grow and we can experience life with the values of any reason we are willing to give our lives in service of.

Our dispositions are greatly affected by where we dwell in a particular reason and how we face in that reason. We can go outwardly while facing outward or inward, but our disposition and emphasis on the reason will be different. We can go inwardly while facing inward or outward, but once again our disposition and emphasis, our view of the reason at that point of value will be different accordingly.

There are many things that affect our ways of being in the moment. Life is coursing through each one of us as we grow through each moment and eternity. The energy of life enters our state of being and we act and react with it. The result of our interaction is our givings.

As we step into a more responsible way of being, we focus our givings to be more in line with what we are living in the moment to be more about. Even if it’s only one step more into our goals, the step in comes with the new responses necessary to sustain the new point of value. And this calls us once again to the principles driving the process of giving. The more successfully we apply these principles, the more we are able to change the values of the moments we are in. The values change because we are moving through them from one to another.

When this is seen, we begin to consider what values we respect, grow, and connect to. Sometimes, and this can be often, we begin our next awakening by realizing that the reasons we are so often preoccupied with are not where we want to be. We may find that what we tend to respect and appreciate and grow in our lives is not what we want to be more about. Yet, we could be spending most of our energy giving complaints, fears, and other undesirable reasons a home, while we only attend the positives once in a while. Seeing into our actualized use of the principles sometimes reveals how we can actually be engaging in building the moment into more negativity and or less sourceful positives. Yet, we often find ourselves finding all the reasons to give what we hate being about and justifying it through the values that surround our position. It can leave us feeling trapped in negative patterns and cycles. We look outward and see something the matter and when we turn to look into the situation to see the source and cause, we are often still so outwardly positioned, we just see the next nearest value and find more reasons to be upset.

We must learn to move more effectively and to make our givings more in line with what we really want to be more about. Not just talking about it, but acting on it in our way of being.

We need to really think and consider the values we are making issue of and we need to realize ways of being in the moment that can truly be more respectful, appreciative and grateful, when the moment offers a value that is actually more in line with what we are wanting to give and be. This is how we move into an ever closer relationship, in the real time moments of our practice, with what we more inwardly want to be about.

The Art of Giving Series was developed to bring one’s attention and focus on the values we are living for and to give us a way of adjusting our points of dwell, that is, the matters we dwell on and in, so we can more effectively live and breathe in tune with what we really want our lives to be more about.

It becomes an art when we make an art of our lives and givings. It isn’t really complicated when you honor the reason you really want to be about. But think about honoring your reason… and as you give thought to it, practice the principles and you will have a better understanding of what honoring your reason means. Don’t stop there… make an art out of improving how you do that. Make it an art that shows your reason as a way of being… and serve that reason as an example of your relationship to source and matter.

Scott Walter, Sensei 
July 19, 2009

Introduction to The Art of Giving 
© 2009 by Great River Institute

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