POSTCARD#316: Chiang Mai:  Click on ‘generosity’, then click on synonyms for that word, and you get loving-kindness, compassion, empathy, well-being, freedom. You find gratitude, grace, honor, motivation, encouragement.

Generosity is everything. Its nature is to share, recycle, circulate; it can only be given, never taken. With generosity we can accept, we can share, we can forgive. Generosity leads to wisdom – the truth is without bias. There is an understanding of things as they really are.

There is ‘generosity of spirit’, a quality we all possess. Generosity, as a mental, emotional letting go, means releasing the tenacity of holding on to things. All that heavy stuff we burden ourselves with is removed in one single act of generosity.

What’s wrong with being generous, cultivating an inward disposition to give? A glad willingness to share what we have with others – why not? We have more than enough. Give it away. Ease the discomfort of being driven to fulfill that urge to ‘have’, a hunger created by always wanting more. All of it is gone when you’re generous.

Generosity is seen as a way to counteract greed. It’s a way of helping others and a means of lessening the economic disparities in society. Generosity is part of the Buddha’s ‘Right View’. The dhamma of generosity is a gift for all of society as we struggle for meaning in a world of Trump, criminality and so on. The dhamma of giving is a disinfectant, a gunk dissolver, and an antidote for all the greed, hatred and delusion.

“Curiosity endows the people who have it with a generosity in argument and a serenity in their own mode of life which springs from their cheerful willingness to let life take the form it will.” [Alistair Cooke]

Photo of the deva at the entrance to Dhammapala Buddhist Monastery, Switzerland, DHP Archives. Reflections on an earlier Post: More Than Enough

13 thoughts on “generosity

  1. Yes, generosity. Giving is freedom. I agree that American society is selfish but it is bad enough we have to stomach Trump day in and day out. I have been sick ever since he got elected. Please don’t think that we are all in agreement with him or Congress or the Senate. We are sick because of them all and his horrid base which dictates his behavior and that of the cowering cowardly Republicans. I cannot stomach looking at them. Please have mercy on we who are helpless at the moment to do anything but petition and protest and pray that this monstrosity our country has become will recover some moral values. Your quote wounds the already wounded.

    • Dear Ellen I’m sorry about the quote. I didn’t notice it was nearly 20 years since the book was published. Those wonderful pre-Trump days, I agree with everything you say and have replaced the quote with something temporary until something totally suitable arises.

      • Apology accepted. Thank you. Only the Obama days were wonderful and generous but obviously NOT for a certain segment of the population– Trump’s base. I cannot stand what is going on here now.

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