In the previous post, The Power Of I Am, we saw that giving is one of the keys to experience the embodiment of God using the power of I Am. In Buddhism, this corresponds to the perfection of generosity. It is one of the six paramitas or the practice of crossing over to the other shore from ill-being to well-being.
Paramita literally means, “crossing to the other shore.” It is often translated as “perfection” or “completeness.” They refer to the culmination of the virtues of generosity, morality, patience, diligence, concentration, and wisdom.
What is the perfection of generosity?
According to Michael Beckwith,
The complete, whole state is an individual who can give with ease and with grace. They’re here to share their gifts, their time, their talents, their capacities, while at the same time, they are in tune with the fundamental water of existence, their real being and they are receptive to this flow through them. They can receive love. They can receive intuitive hits. They can receive wisdom and guidance. They can receive the beauty that is everywhere. So there is a complete cycle and ultimately giving and receiving are one.
When I heard these words for the third time, I was reminded of the thirteenth Mindfulness Training of the Order of Interbeing:
Aware of the suffering caused by exploitation, social injustice, stealing, and oppression, we are committed to cultivating loving kindness and learning ways to work for the well-being of people, animals, plants, and minerals. We will practice generosity by sharing our time, energy, and material resources with those who are in need. We are determined not to steal and not to possess anything that should belong to others. We will respect the property of others, but will try to prevent others from profiting from human suffering or the suffering of other beings.
I also saw the connection between these two statements and recognized that true generosity occurs when you have the insight that giving and receiving are one.
In my own life, I have been blessed with a loving wife who knows no end to giving. She is often generous beyond what is necessary and sufficient for a given purpose. Her exceptional giving character has taught me to receive with grace and to give with kindness. My three children have grown up with the spirit of generosity and all are thriving.
I may be a good teacher in the Mindfulness in Healing sangha. I may become a stand up writer as I progress with writing this blog. I may have been an outstanding software engineer in my career that continues to support me and my family. I know I have been a great father to my children and husband to my wife! This has been my calling and my greatest accomplishment.
What do you need to do to cross over to the other shore of giving and receiving? Please share.