“The begging bowl of the Buddha, Thomas Merton has said, represents the ultimate theological root of the belief, not just in the right to beg, but in the openness to the gifts of all beings as an expression of the interdependence of all beings.
The whole idea of compassion, which is central to Mahayana Buddhism, is based on an awareness of the interdependence of all living beings, thus when the monk begs from the layman and receives a gift from the laymen, it is not as selfish person getting something from somebody else. He is simply opening himself to this interdependence. ”
— from The Gift by Lewis Hyde
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