Aware of the suffering caused by exploitation, social injustice, stealing, and oppression, I am committed to practicing generosity in my thinking, speaking, and acting. –Thich Nhat Hanh
The Buddha said, “If you knew, as I do, the power of giving, you would not let a single meal pass without sharing some of it.” He taught that when we truly understand the power of generosity, we experience how it brings joy to the giver as well as to the receiver. Appreciating this, we learn to give not only when opportunities to give present themselves, but we actually look for opportunities to give, and take delight in being asked to give.
Generosity is this powerful for very good reason. Because it is characterized by the inner quality of letting go or relinquishing, it reverses the forces that create suffering. It is a profound antidote to the strong habits of clinging, grasping, guarding, and attachment that lead to so much pain and suffering. Generosity brings happiness at every stage of its expression: we experience joy in forming the intention to give, we experience joy in the action of giving, and we experience joy in remembering that we have given. As Gandhi said, “The fragrance remains in the hand that gives the rose.”
–excerpt from “Joy of Generosity” by Beth Roth, nurse practitioner who teaches mindfulness-based stress reduction and vipassana meditation in Connecticut.