Archive for the ‘Generosity’ Category

When the Buddha teaches lay people in early Buddhist sources, he often emphasizes generosity. In addition to benefiting recipients, one of the results of giving (dāna) is that it can uplift the mind of the person who gives. Giving can take the form of monetary donations, but we can act with generosity (cāga) in many other ways as well. Taking the time to listen to someone in need, cultivating good will, refraining from harsh speech, are just a few of those ways.

You may want to consider how you already practice generosity, and how it affects your state of mind and happiness when you do. If you do not have an intentional form of generosity practice, you may wish to explore that and see what it contributes to your development of the path.

“O monks, if people knew, as I know, the result of giving and sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would they allow the stain of stinginess to obsess them and take root in their minds. Even if it were their last morsel, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared it, if there were someone to share it with. But, monks, as people do not know, as I know, the result of giving and sharing, they eat without having given, and the stain of stinginess obsesses them and takes root in their minds.”

From Itivuttaka 26, modified from Bhikkhu Bodhi, trans., In the Buddha’s Words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pāli Canon, Boston: Wisdom Publications, 2005, p. 169.

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