One of the reasons that practicing generosity is so closely linked to Buddhist enlightenment is that the quality of our giving always proceeds from the true state of our character. Normally, we act as separate and self-contained beings who need to attend to our own well-being and security. Grounded in that ordinary but limited self-understanding, the generosity that we are able to practice is at least partially self-concerned. Still, as we practice generosity in the spirit of selflessness, we develop a sense of interdependent connection to others, a sense of community and reciprocal responsibility, and we begin to understand and feel all the ways in which our selves are in fact interlinked with others. When barriers separating the self begin to dissolve, generosity becomes easier—more natural—because we are more in alignment with our self-understanding. When this occurs, the motives that initiate giving become less patently selfish, and the meaning of the Buddhist sense of no-self begins to become clear. This experience is exhilarating because it entails an expansion out beyond the compulsive anxieties of self-protection. In this sense, the practice of generosity is the practice of freedom, and it carries with it all the joy and pleasure that are associated with liberation. Indeed, there may be no greater sense of fulfillment in life than the simultaneous feelings of human interconnection and pure freedom that arise from an authentic act of selfless generosity…..Dale Wright
aspiring to be self-less is easily misinterpreted as true compassion…beware of old wounds & codependent behaviors….spiritual bypassing disallows us to be intimate with our needs & feeds our desire to avoid conflict……we care for ourselves & in this act we truly care for others….a very challenging lesson….
The fearlessness of compassion leads us directly into the conflict & suffering of life. Fearless compassion recognizes the inevitable suffering in life & our need to face the suffering in order to learn. Sometimes only the fire of suffering itself & the consequences of our actions can bring us to deeper understanding, to feel kindness for all beings, & to liberation. In the paradox of life sometimes our compassion requires us to say yes & sometimes to say no. These may seem like opposites but they are not. Like all of the spiritual arts, it requires that we listen & attend, understand our motivation, & then ask ourselves what action can really be helpful……Jack Kornfield
this fierce grace of boundaries calls us to know ourselves well….to ask over & over again, why am I doing this?….the pure & raw heart needs to honor its bruises….guarding our tenderness allows the truth to shine a little grittier…