Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The path of generosity

Hooray! The wonderful women of Spring are continuing Spring into Action and this week's question is: what does generosity mean to you, and how are you generous?

I have to admit that this is something I work a lot with. Generosity is considered one of the six paramitas, or transcendent actions, in Buddhism, and so I find myself turning to see what that wonderful rascal and profound teacher Chögyam Trungpa had to say on this topic:

"The Bodhisattva Path starts with generosity and openness - giving and openness - the surrendering process. Openness is not a matter of giving something to someone else, but it means giving up your demand and the basic criteria of the demand. This is the dana paramita, the paramita of generosity. It is learning to trust in the fact that you do not need to secure your ground, learning to trust in your fundamental richness, that you can afford to be open."
~from Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism

I'm definitely not always there, but when I do find myself in this place of grounded openness I find that the barriers between me and other people come down and I want only the best for them. I sincerely wish for them to be safe, happy, healthy, and live with a sense of ease. And so I give them a sincere and friendly smile. I look them in the eye and really see them, see the fierce, shining beauty of them. And then who really is giving and who is receiving? In those moments I feel like the luckiest, richest person alive.