Generosity or the act of giving is of immeasurable benefit to the giver for it opens up the heart, diminishes for a minute one’s self absorption and places value on the well being of others. The simple gesture of offering a flower, a few hours of volunteer work, a kind thought or a simple meal is a sincere form of practice. The size and value of an act of generosity is of no consequence, rather it is the expression of wanting to give, of wanting to share what you have, whatever that may be, that is important. This feeling of wanting to give or share, without expecting anything in return, is a key manifestation of spiritual life.
Each day for the next week, engage in a secret act of virtue or kindness. Do something nice and unexpected for others, but do so anonymously. These acts can be very simple, the little things like washing someone else’s dishes that were left in the sink, picking up trash on the sidewalk, cleaning the bathroom sink (when it’s not your job), making an anonymous donation, or leaving a chocolate on a coworker’s desk.
Place a notebook on your bedside table and use it to make a plan each night for what your secret act of virtue will be the next day. It’s unexpectedly fun to plan and do nice things in secret for people. Once you take on this task in earnest, you begin to looking round for new ideas and the possibilities begin to multiply……
We can afford to open ourselves and join the rest of the world with a sense of tremendous generosity, tremendous goodness, and tremendous richness. The more we give, the more we gain – although what we gain should not particularly be our reason for giving. Rather, the more we give, the more we are inspired to give constantly. And the gaining process happens naturally, automatically.”
Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche
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Image courtesy of Mr. Kris