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The Power of Giving Quietly

I once had a friend who secretly paid for me to go on a silent meditation retreat. I had just lost my job (and a boyfriend two months before that) so I was in desperate need of some inspiration and insights…but I was broke.

I was looking for free places to getaway to when my friend called me and said, “It’s your lucky day! I found this cool monastery upstate for you, and it’s FREE!”

“Free?” I asked.

“Free!” he replied.

I thought I was gonna have to do some “karma service” meaning I would help cook meals or help clean the temple as a trade for my stay there—which I was more than happy to do.

So I packed up my beat up Jeep and drove up a mountain by moonlight to a gorgeous monastery where I was silent for 8 days.

It was a transformational experience and when I checked out, a woman told me: “What a wonderful friend you have to have paid for you to come here!”

My stay had not been free.

There was a charge, and my friend paid for it. But he didn’t want me to know. Maybe because he thought I wouldn’t have accepted it, or that I would have insisted on paying him back—which I probably would have. But he wanted to give me a GIFT, and he wanted to do it quietly, without fanfare or praise, or accolades, or without the thoughts of “I owe you.”

It was one of the purest and most powerful gifts I have ever received.

On that quiet mountain I found the inspiration and insights I was looking for. Two months after my time there, I met my husband. One year later I gave birth to my first daughter.

I’ve learned from my friend how to give, and how to give quietly. It’s ok to be loud and proud, I’m not saying that. But you can ALSO give subtly and surely: some time lent, an ear given, a gesture, a smile, and yes, even a thought or a blessing.

That acorn of a gift from my friend blossomed into an oak tree that I’m still growing.

Who can YOU secretly bless today?

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