“The heart that gives, gathers.” ‒ Lao Tzu (c. 531 BCE)
The British political icon Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” Most people wouldn’t place the ancient Taoist philosopher Lao Tzu and Churchill on the same page, but each expressed a perception of the same deep truth: there’s something at play in the dynamic of giving that brings something greater to the giver. What is that?
A gift is usually something physical. We may give our best friend a sweater as a holiday gift. We donate money to a favorite cause or give our time at a local soup kitchen. These things are related to the 3D physical world we live in. We don’t necessarily get anything tangible in return. If our intention is pure, we really don’t expect anything in return.
Most times, the recipient of the gift does reflect something back to us: it could be a smile, an expression of happiness, or a simple “Thank you!” On one level, this makes us feel good. Studies show that the reward center in our brain is activated by the giving process. Yet there is still something much greater that is going on.
The big picture is that when we give, we mirror the deepest, most encompassing dynamic underlying the structure of our entire reality: the universe is a constant source of giving—it pours out its sustenance to us every nanosecond we are alive on Mother Earth. And there’s nothing we have to do to earn it; it’s ours by birthright.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) expert and Qigong master Nan Lu, OMD, expresses it this way: “This source doesn’t discriminate. It pours out its love continually to every living thing. Its promise is that it will support us always. It doesn’t base its love on gender or race, on age or sexual orientation, or any other factors. It doesn’t say because you are beautiful, I will give you ninety percent of my sunlight. Or, because you are a criminal, you only deserve ten percent. It showers everyone with the same amount of warmth unconditionally.”
Use of this connection to the Universal source is a key component in all forms of authentic TCM treatment: acupuncture, acupressure or tuina, herbal therapy, and Qigong (pronounced chee kung)—a self-healing energy practice. Today, we know from discoveries in modern physics that at the deepest levels of our reality, everything is energy and everything is interconnected. TCM’s goal is to restore balance and harmony within the individual, harmonize that person with nature, and then enhance this inborn connection to Universal energy—Universal Life and love—which is the source of true health and healing. This process gives TCM its remarkable ability to treat and resolve a wide range of health issues—from ancient times to modern.
When we give, we connect to the frequency—the energy—of Universal Life itself. And this miraculous connection is always a channel that can restore us to balance and make us whole. It’s the connection that can create miracles in our reality. As the writer C.S. Lewis once observed, “Miracles do not, in fact, break the laws of nature.” So the real secret is this: giving from your heart places you on a profound pathway that is aligned with the very source of Life and its healing power.