A lack of generosity often stems from fear and insecurity, especially in these economically challenging times. Yet giving is the path to letting go of attachment, which is crucial for a happier and healthier life.
Whatever the root cause of stinginess, the eminent spiritual teacher Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche shows us how to perfect generosity, one heartbeat at a time, in this simple guide to learning how to give.
“If we persist long enough, we can learn to do anything. Once a rich man came to see Lord Buddha, suffering from such miserliness that he was unable to give away even the tiniest thing. To accustom him to generosity, the Buddha taught him to consider his right hand as himself and his left hand as someone else, and to think that he was making gifts while passing small objects from one hand to the other. When the miser had slowly become used to the idea of giving in this way, Lord Buddha told him to make small presents, such as fruit, grain, and the like, to his wife and children. Then the Buddha told him to give charity, first to the poorest of his neighbors and then to others more distant. Eventually, he became capable of giving away all his riches, clothes, and food to the poor of the whole province, and at that point the Buddha told him that he had achieved true generosity. “ ~ Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, The Heart Treasure of the Enlightened Ones
These are the essential lessons, I’ve gathered from this story:
- We can change! We have the capacity to train and transform our mind.
- Start where you are.
- Start small.
- Persistence pays off.
- Apply this same approach to eliminate any negative pattern of thinking, cultivate positive qualities, and overcome bad habits.
Do you find value in generosity? How does generosity help you? What blocks generosity?
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