Generosity

Also called dana, the practice of giving and letting go
  • Tricycle Community 8 comments

    Burning Alive Paid Member

    “Everything is burning!” said the Buddha almost 25 centuries ago. “Burning with what? Burning with the fires of greed, hatred and delusion.”(Samyutta Nikaya 35.28) These words seem prophetic today, as our planet is slowly warmed by the fires blazing in our furnaces and engines, by the explosion of our bullets and bombs, and by the raging delusions around which our entire world seems to be organized. There is not a single problem we face as human beings—other than the tectonic (earthquakes), the astronomical (meteor strikes), or the existential (aging and death)—that does not find its origin in greed, hatred, or delusion, whether of people or their institutions. More »
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    Rich Generosity Paid Member

    When a candle is lit in a dark room, it illuminates the room to some extent, but its power is limited. But if you use the same candle to light another candle, the total brightness increases. If you continue to do this, you can fill the room with brilliant illumination. The idea of transferring merit to others is like this. If we keep our own light selfishly hidden, it will only provide a limited amount of illumination. But when we share our light with others, we do not diminish our own light. Rather, we increase the amount of light available to all. Therefore, when others light our candle, we issue forth light. When out of gratitude we use our candle to light other people’s candles, the whole room gets brighter. This is why we transfer merit to others. This kind of light is continuous and inexhaustible. More »
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    Dana: The Practice of Giving Paid Member

    Dana (pronounced “DAH-nuh”), noun. Sanskrit, Pali, roughly “gift, alms, donation”; voluntary giving of materials, energy, or wisdom (dharma) to others; generosity; regarded as one of the most important Buddhist virtues. Simple acts of giving—whether material, emotional, or spiritual—are often riddled with ambivalence arising from craving and attachment. This section provides suggestions for our most common dana dilemmas and poses questions to help you determine where you are on the path to true generosity. Read all the articles on our special section on dana: More »
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    Gifts that Keep Giving Paid Member

    The holidays are coming. Time to draw up your gift list. Forget cashmere lap robes, chronometer watches, that scented candle your assistant will only re-gift to her grandmother. Expensive, unimaginative presents are so last year. The Buddhist spirit of giving—dana—is about generosity, not booty. We need to think outside the Tiffany box. Conscious consuming today means not just buying less but being mindful of your footprint on the earth. “Green” etiquette says the best present is one that doesn’t pollute, doesn’t exploit resources, causes no harm, helps someone in need—and may even burnish your karma. When you plunk down your credit card, make it truly count. More »
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    Resource Guide—Dharma On No Dollars A Day Paid Member

    The practice of dhamma dana, or the gift of dharma, lies at the heart of the Buddha way. The Buddha gave his wisdom free, and taught that engaging in dana—giving energy, material or wisdom to others—is a means to overcoming greed and egoism and is one of the six perfections (paramitas), the virtues perfected by a bodhisattva. Continuing this custom, most Buddhist centers offer some form of free dharma. More »
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    Family Dharma: The Joy of Generosity Paid Member

    Many years ago I learned that the Buddha taught ethical conduct as the necessary prerequisite for meditation practice. It made perfect sense. As my teacher Jack Kornfield says, “Can you imagine settling down on your cushion for a peaceful meditation session after a full day of killing, stealing, and lying?” Much later I discovered that the Buddha taught the practice of generosity first, as a foundation for establishing an ethical lifestyle. I marveled at the possibility that generosity might be the most important thing of all, the platform on which our actions, our meditation practice, and our spiritual journey rest. More »