The Gift of Generosity
Upcoming / ongoing:
8-Week Series: Bringing Mindful Qualities to Life: Meditation, Teaching, and Interactive Dialogue, Mondays from 6:00 to 7:30 pm
Last two classes: December 4, 11 [MORE INFO]
Daylong: “The Appreciative Heart-Mudita”. Retreat Daylong On Saturday, January 6, 2024 from 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Cost is sliding scale from $90- $150. With Lhasha Tizer and Marygrace Naughton. Please contact Lhasha at firstname.lastname@example.org or 520-321-3670 for more information. Pay with check or Paypal. [MORE INFO]
To touch the heart of a human being, we can only hold it if we engage. In generosity, we look at where the heart-mind is closed and learn to let go of where we are clinging. It is a matter of reflecting in a friendly way–is my behavior compassionate? For example, it is not compassionate to give alcohol to an alcoholic—instead, generosity would mean helping the alcoholic get help.
If we want to feel better we can do something for someone else. We notice that it feels good. This goes into our memory banks. This way we relate to others with happiness, generosity, and goodwill. Knowing what we have done that was generous helps us to be generous.
A daughter is born to a well-off family. They consult a wise Seer about the daughter’s future life and they are told by the Seer that the girl is going to die on her wedding day. You can imagine how upset the parents are when they hear this prophecy. As the daughter gets older and is in the midst of preparing for her wedding vows, during the wedding feast there is a loud banging on the door. A servant goes to answer and there is a beggar asking for food. He is told that this is not a good time, and to go away. The bride-to-be hears the banging and the pleas of the beggar. She exclaims “Wait!” and brings food with her own hands to the beggar. That night when she goes to her wedding bed she remains alive and is well. Her father goes to the Seer and asks, “What happened to the prophecy?” The Wise One says that the bride severed her fate by this act of generosity. This is engaging and taking responsibility for our actions.
Think for a moment about what acts of generosity may have changed the direction of your life in some way.
“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.”
~ Pablo Picasso
“The greatest gift of all is teaching the Dharma.” Buddha called it one of the Three Marvels–“The Marvel of Instruction.” The Buddha explained that this is how human beings have passed on the teachings–we learn together.
It is a relinquishment–a letting go of holding on, of stinginess. It is the gift of giving.
The Buddha said that, “One who gives earns the love of others, lives with a good reputation, cements friendships, and wins the sympathy of others, and can attend any gathering with confidence and dignity, wins popularity and is the person with whom people of noble character want to associate.”