Friday, January 27, 2006

The Six Perfections by Geshe Sonam Rinchen: Generosity

Give with these three attitudes:
  1. That your aim is enlightenment;
  2. That what you give has already been dedicated to others; and
  3. That the person to whom you give is your teacher of generosity.
Shantideva's four practices that apply to all of the perfections:
  1. Giving
  2. Protecting (not sacrificing your body until it's time)
  3. Keep actions pure of polluting emotions
  4. Insure increase
When teaching or instructing, don't take the mental position that your teachings are the best, or that you have the deepest insight. (Related thought: There are 84,000 discourses of dharma for a reason! What matters about a teaching is not necessarily how "eloquent" it is, but how well it is matched to the recipient of the teaching. It's a pairing. Does the teaching move the recipient closer to true enlightenment? Then it is good and meaningful.)

Encourage others to give if they don't seem to know how. (I.e., teach a man to fish.)

"If we understand impermanence and are genuinely compassionate, we will regard our possessions as others' belongings which they have entrusted to use for safekeeping and which must be returned to them. With that attitude our property will not be a source of anxiety." (p. 22)

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