The Power Of Giving

In continuation of the series of articles about the six paramitas, I came across this lovely quote from the Buddha.

Sterling Silver Buddha

Sterling Silver Buddha
Photo by Jerome Freedman

If you knew what I know about the power of giving, you would not let a single meal pass without sharing it in some way.

– the Buddha

The essence of the first paramita the perfection of generosityis unconditional love, a boundless openness of heart and mind, a selfless generosity and giving which is completely free from attachment and expectation. This kind of giving gives rise to compassion for the suffering of all sentient beings.

We offer our time, energy, and material resources freely to those in need.

With true awakening, we realize that the giver, the gift, and the recipient are one.

Giving with this attitude does not have to be material goods. For example, our friend, Richard died last November – almost a year ago. His widow, Debbie, is now 87 and is still sadly grieving. Mala and I spent part of the late morning and early afternoon with her. While we did treat her for lunch, I could tell she took more pleasure from just being with us and speaking to our daughter, Jessica in Barcelona over Facetime than with any material gift we could have given. As we were driving home, I felt sad for her, and also felt rewarded by having giving of my time to this lonely woman.

There are many ways of giving to the people you know and to your community. For example, you could volunteer in a food kitchen for the homeless. You could visit the elderly in the hospital and nursing homes. You could donate funds to charities that you admire. You can even help out your parents or grandparents, children or grandchildren, or you siblings with money, time, and material gifts.

Can you think of other ways of harnessing the power of giving? What ways of giving do you participate in, either as the giver or the receiver? Please share.

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