Generosity (and Greed)

Juliet's Shadow Caged

Generosity is not limited to the giving of material things. We can be generous with our kindness and our receptivity. Generosity can mean the simple giving of a smile or extending ourselves to really listen to a friend. Paradoxically, even being willing to receive the generosity of others can be a form of generosity. 
—Gil Fronsdal

When you are practicing generosity, you should feel a little pinch when you give something away. That pinch is your stinginess protesting. If you give away your old, worn-out coat that you wouldn’t be caught dead wearing, that is not generosity. There is no pinch. You are doing nothing to overcome your stinginess; you’re just cleaning out your closet and calling it something else. Giving away your coat might keep someone warm, but it does not address the problem we face as spiritual practitioners: to free ourselves from self-cherishing and self-grasping. 
—Gelek Rinpoche

Buddhist teachings emphasize that the manner in which we give is as important as what we give—we should give with respect, with happiness, and with joy. When we are practicing generosity, and it does not bring happiness and joy, we should pay close attention to our motivations for giving, and perhaps even reevaluate whether to give at all. 
—Gil Fronsdal

Greed is the salty water consumed by those who thirst for self-centered gratification. This kind of thirst can never be quenched and becomes the source of increasing torment. 
—Matthieu Ricard

“You can measure the depth of a person’s awakening by how they serve others” 
—Kobo Daishi (774–835 CE)

Meditation is one of the keys to unlocking the natural generosity of the heart. Underneath the greedy and selfish thoughts and feelings that are part of the human condition lies a pure desire to help. We experience this in our mindfulness practice; when we let go, there is a natural acceptance and feeling of care. 
—Noah Levine

Phototgraph by Gyorgy Kepes, “Juliet’s Shadow Caged,” 1939. Courtesy of Joel Soroka Gallery

Excerpted from:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s