From the Buddha’s point of view, generosity, or dana, is a foundational and essential spiritual practice. Without the enlivening and liberating experience of generosity, our lives remain limited by our self-centered views, fears, and greed. The Buddha understood that generosity was a trustworthy medicine for our burdened hearts. He said that if you knew what he knew about generosity, you would not let a meal go by without sharing.
Generosity can seem like a heavy duty. It is common for us to swing from feeling guilty for being too stingy to feeling taken advantage of for having given. Because our experiences with generosity come with doubt, fear, and regret – we rarely bring a close and wise attention to the process of freely giving and receiving, and so never uncover the healing and liberating effects of these actions.
Are we interested enough to begin exploring how generous intentions can change our lives? Instead of looking for a dramatic big step, we can consider many, many small acts of generosity. Let’s commit to stepping beyond our limited, tight, and stingy views to see what comes from it.
Wishing us all a happy spring of freely giving and freely receiving,