Generosity on a Shoestring?

Generosity on a Shoestring?

Discussion date: Thu, Aug 09, 2007 at our weekly Thursday evening practice

Dear Still Water Friends,

Generosity on a Shoestring?

August 9, 2007


Dear Friends,

This Thursday evening, August 9, after our meditation period we will recite the Five Mindfulness Trainings. Our discussion will center on the Second Mindfulness Training:

Aware of the suffering caused byexploitation, social injustice, stealing, and oppression, I amcommitted to cultivating loving kindness and learning ways to work for

I am committed to practicing generosity by sharing my time, energy, andmaterial resources with those who are in real need. I am determined notto steal and not to possess anything that should belong to others. Iwill respect the property of others, but I will prevent others fromprofiting from human suffering or the suffering of other species onEarth.

Often in daily life, when I hear the words generous or generosity Ithink of acts of giving that include a LOT of money, time, or materialmeans. For example, I was reading today that Maple Forest Monastery wasstarted when “a generous donor offered the Unified Buddhist Churcha 120-acre property.” Now that’s generous!

In my life I have certainly tended to measure generosity – others’ andmy own – in dollars and cents, or in the quantity of time spent inservice. But I’ve that learned there are other dimensions available,such as the intention that underlies a gift. Or the quality of presencethat I bring to the giving. Or perhaps my willingness to give joyfullyeven when the person I’m giving to is receiving it begrudgingly. And soin moments when I don’t have access to a lot of time or money, the giftis still available.

How do you “measure” generosity, and what experiences have you hadrecently that might cause you to look at it in different ways? I lookforward to sharing them with you during our dharma discussion.

Warmest wishes,


Discussion Date: Thu, Aug 09, 2007


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