05 May 2014

Contemplation: The Practice of Generosity

After reviewing the guidelines for practice, take the following as your topic for contemplation:

Question:  How should someone practice generosity?

Answer:  If he sees anyone coming to him begging, he should give him the wealth and other things in his possession in so far as he is able; thus, while freeing himself from greed and avarice, he causes the beggar to be joyful.  Or, if he sees one who is in hardship, in fear, or in grave danger, he should give him freedom from fear in so far as he is able.  If someone comes to seek instruction in the teaching, he should, according to his ability and understanding, explain it by the use of expedient means.  In doing so, however, he should not expect any fame, material gain, or respect, but he should think only of benefiting himself and others alike and of extending the merit that he gains from the practice of charity toward the attainment of enlightenment.

The Awakening of Faith (trans. Hakeda), pp.93.  Punctuation and diction altered slightly.

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