|Generosity Helps Us Accept Change
by Sharon Salzberg
[Listen to Audio!]
The aim of practicing generosity is twofold, or else it’s an incomplete experience.
The first aim is to free our minds from the conditioned forces that bind and limit us. Craving, clinging and attachment bring confinement and lack of self-esteem. If we’re always looking for some person or thing to complete us, we miss the degree to which we are complete in every moment. It’s a bit like leaning on a mirage only to find that it can’t hold us; there’s nothing there.
When we are continually moved by looking for the next experience and the next pleasure, it’s like going from one mirage to another. We have no security. Nothing is holding us up. We practice generosity to free the mind from that delusion, to weaken the forces of craving and clinging so we can find essential happiness.
We also practice generosity to free others, to extend welfare and happiness to all beings, to somehow, as much as each one of us can, lessen the suffering in this world. When our practice of generosity is genuine, when it’s complete, we realize inner spaciousness and peace, and we also learn to extend boundless caring to all living beings.
The movement of the heart in practicing generosity mirrors the movement of the heart that lets go inside. So the external training of giving deeply influences the internal feeling-tone of the meditation practice, and vice versa. If we cultivate a generous heart, then more and more we can unconditionally allow things to be the way they are. We can accept the truth of the present moment, rather than continually impose conditions on what’s going on: it must be this way or that way or you can’t be happy. Your sitting must be perfect or you won’t be happy. You must have no restlessness or you won’t feel good about yourself. Reality moves along outside of our control, and yet we impose all of these conditions on it. Generosity allows that whole project to start to fall away.
The strength of our generosity is a primary factor in our ability to accept change.
About the Author: Sharon Salzberg is a long-time meditation teacher; excerpt above from this article.
|Latest Community Insights
|Generosity Helps Us Accept Change
How do you relate to the notion that the strength of our generosity is a primary factor in our ability to accept change? Can you share a personal story of a time when you could see the movement of your heart in practicing generosity mirroring the movement of your heart letting go inside? What helps you cultivate a generous heart?
|David Doane wrote: Only true generosity frees the mind Generosity that is goal-directed, such as generosity done in order to complete me or done to make me feel good about myself or done to please the other or get what …
|Jagdish P Dave wrote: True or genuine generosity is unconditional with no expectation in return. It is pure and not contiminated by my agenda such as what am I goung to get by my generous act. In this sense it is free from…
|Share/Read Your Reflections
Many years ago, a couple friends got together to sit in silence for an hour, and share personal aha-moments. That birthed this newsletter, and rippled out as Awakin Circles in 80+ living rooms around the globe. To join in Santa Clara this week, RSVP online.
Some Good News
Video of the Week
Global call with Abbot Sojun Mel Weitsman!
Join us for a conference call this Saturday, with a global group of ServiceSpace friends and our insightful guest speaker. Join the Forest Call >>
Back in 1997, one person started sending this simple “meditation reminder” to a few friends. Soon after, “Wednesdays” started, ServiceSpace blossomed, and the humble experiments of service took a life of its own. If you’d like to start an Awakin gathering in your area, we’d be happy to help you get started.